Editor’s note: Today, CTA’s volunteer expert Karen Kogler shares her favorite Bible passages regarding Christian service. Use these passages to recruit and motivate volunteers in 2018. And, don’t forget to add your favorite verses in the comments section!

What Scripture verses does your church use when encouraging or discussing church volunteerism? From the richness of God’s Word on this topic, here are some of my favorites:

Exodus 31:1–11; 35:30–34. After lengthy instructions for constructing the tabernacle and its furnishings, God points out he has given Bezalel, Oholiab, and others the skills to do the work. It’s a great reminder that God provides people with the skills to do what he wants done.

Exodus 18:5–26 (ESV). “What you are doing is not good . . .” Moses accepts a chewing-out from his father-in-law and learns to delegate. May we all also take the same advice!

All about the many-parts-one-body in the body of Christ:

  • Ephesians 4:7–16 (ESV). I love how “speaking the truth in love (v. 15)” is part of this image. And there’s no more beautiful image of the church: “the whole body, . . . when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.” (v. 16).
  • Romans 12:3–8 (ESV). With those adverbs—“generosity . . . zeal . . . cheerfulness (v. 8)”—Paul is urging us to not just use our gifts, but to use them passionately!
  • 1 Corinthians 13. The well-known “love” chapter, begins by describing how various spiritual gifts are absolutely worthless without the greatest gift of all, love.

Luke 17:7–10 (ESV). The dutiful servants who say “we are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty” remind me not to expect a blue ribbon for simply doing what I should.

Acts. This book is titled “The Acts of the Apostles” in most Bibles, and aptly so. But Luke also includes the acts of others in this history of the early church. In “Acts of the Non-Apostles,” a paper I wrote (available here), I looked at how Luke’s main points applied to non-apostles as well as apostles, and at implications for today’s church. A companion Bible study (available here) was written by a friend, Nancy Kuhlmann.

Ephesians 2:8–10. This is my all-time favorite verse. Paul puts it all in a nutshell, both the grace by which we’re saved—all a free gift and completely independent of anything we’ve done or ever could do—and the works, for which God created and designed us.


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