Published: 5 years ago

Are Your Volunteers Saved By the Bell?

True story: I was just a little bit old for the Saved By The Bell. I was 16 when it premiered in ’89, and besides, it didn’t really take off until Mr. Belding hired his brother Rod as a substitute history teacher and the kids had to convince him that – even for all the charm and charisma of Rod – their principal was the better Belding.

But I digress.

If you watched SBTB much (unlike me, who again was way too old for it), one of the common themes was that those six kids did everything. Can we agree on that? Zack, Slater, Screech, Kelly, Jessie, and Lisa had a larger on-campus presence than a Zack Morris cell phone. Band? They were all a part of it. Sports teams? On ’em. Debate team? Swim team? Student council? Check. Check. Check.

It seemed that everywhere you looked you had six kids as the primary do-gooders, surrounded by a chorus of extras who may or may not have been engaged. It’s enough to turn a teen to caffeine pills to keep up, which may finally explain why Jessie was SO EXCITED! SO EXCITED! SO…so…scared. (Arguably the best dramatic moment in television history. Yes it is. Shut up.)

Watching those wacky Bayside kids get involved in everything can kind of remind you of your core team of church volunteers. Maybe they serve on the parking team, moonlight in the first grade classroom, step up to help with the offering, tutor kids after school, and show up to help stuff envelopes for the quarterly mailing. And it’s volunteers like that that we’re grateful for. We thank God for. The activity of the church is built on their backs, and we couldn’t do it without them.

But is it healthy? Is it sustainable? Is it a workable model for either your dependable volunteers or your dependent church? I’m afraid that we’re all too eager to cultivate a Bayside atmosphere with our volunteer team. They’re up front, they’re willing, they’re doers, let’s just let ’em do more.

And all the while they’re strung out on caffeine pills. And all the while there are others in the background who should serve, can serve, and maybe even are willing to serve, but for whatever reason, they don’t serve.

I’m not knocking faithful volunteers. Again, I thank God for them. But are we being faithful to their faithfulness? Do we better serve our servants by helping them target their service? And do we better serve our congregation by encouraging those on the sidelines to step up?

Figure this out…help your congregation see the beauty in involvement and shared responsibility…and you too can be the better Belding.

Go Tigers.

  1. Joel says:

    HA! Love this and so true.

  2. thebryanrose says:

    Great post – love the SBTB comparison – so true! Same people doing everything.
    I too, was 16 when it came out and much too old to watch it as much as I did, and obviously you did, in college between classes.

  3. Robby says:

    Great reflection and even better questions asked of our churches embedded in your post.

  1. By Danny Franks | Don’t Divide Your Volunteers on August 26, 2015 at 7:00 am

    […] Sometimes one of the best gifts we can give our volunteers is to help them say no to certain roles so they can say yes to the best roles. We start that by being aware of their gifts and recognizing where they likely serve with the greatest passion. We limit the menu of ministries at our church so they’re not trying to take on every single thing. […]

  2. […] Read the entire original post here. […]

  3. […] posts: Are Your Volunteers Saved By The Bell?, Don’t Divide Your […]

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