A story about one woman’s attempt to serve at her church’s VBS:
I’ve been attending a small church. I’m not sure they have picked up on the fact that I’ve been coming, though. I think they don’t get a lot of new members, so maybe they don’t recognize it when it happens.
On Mother’s Day, I noticed an announcement in the bulletin asking for VBS volunteers. I thought, “I’m home that week. I love VBS. I’ll volunteer.” I figured it was a good way to start serving since I have mucho years of experience in the VBS arena. I figured wrong.
I emailed the pastor (a really nice, sincere man of the collar) as instructed in the bulletin, giving him my “love doing this stuff” areas (and those I don’t like so much, i.e. crafts and snacks). I asked about filling out a background check, when a VBS team meeting would be held, and what the theme was so I could prepare ahead of time. I tried to hit all the “perfect volunteer” checklist buttons, then I hit “send.”
Finally an email came back: “Let me see if we can find a place for you. I’ll check with the teachers and get back to you.”
No “great!,” “thanks!”or “welcome to the team!” I was kinda disappointed, but willing to see if maybe there really were just a few details to work out.
Two weeks before VBS was to begin, I followed up again since I hadn’t heard. A few days before VBS Day One, I got an email back telling me that one of the teachers could “maybe use some help cutting and pasting.” (Did I mention that I HATE doing crafts?) “Just show up that morning and we’ll see where we can use you.” No meeting invite, though they did have one. I just wasn’t invited.
So what’s to be gained from this story? I don’t know. You tell me. More to come.
P.S. – Treat your volunteers with The Volunteer’s Field Guide to Youth Ministry by Len Kageler about practical ways to make a difference in teenager’s lives.