Wednesday, June 18, 2014

10 Characteristics Comparing Volunteer to Called Team Members


Several years ago, Rory Noland wrote a wonderful book entitled, The Heart of the Artist. Although this book has been around for a number of years, it is still considered a "must read" for church musicians.  I have written about the distinction between being called or a volunteer here. Please hear me...this is not a simple issue of semantics...there is a huge and foundational difference in the two perspectives!

This week as part of our graduate worship intensive at Liberty University, I was reminded of ten characteristics that Rory outlined in his text that are specifically aimed at comparing the volunteer worship team member (choir, worship team, instrumentalist, technical team) to the called worship team member. Take a few minutes and focus on these characteristics. Are they characteristic of your life? Do they define your approach to your role in worship ministry? If not, you may need to revisit the core question: Are you called or volunteer?


  1. Volunteers see their involvement at the church as community service, but the called see it as ministry.
  2. Volunteers whine about what it is going to cost to serve, but people called of God are committed to serving period.
  3. Volunteers shrink back from resolving relational conflict, but people called of God seek to resolve relational conflict for the sake of the unity of the church.
  4. Volunteers look at rehearsal as another commitment they are obligated to fulfill, but people called of God look for another opportunity to be used by God.
  5. Volunteers do little or no outside practicing or preparation, but people called of God come to rehearsals as prepared as possible.
  6. Volunteers are not open to constructive criticism; they get defensive about it. But people called of God are grateful for the feedback because they want to be the best they can be.
  7. Volunteers feel threatened by the talents of others, but people called of God praise Him for distributing gifts and talents as He chooses.
  8. Volunteers want to quit at the first sign of adversity or discouragement but people called of God dig in and persevere.
  9. Volunteers find their main source of fulfillment in their talents and abilities, but people called of God know that being used of God is the most fulfilling thing you can do with your life.
  10. Volunteers can't handle being put in situation in which they're going to be stretched, but people called of God respond to God's call with humble dependence on Him.

1 comment:

  1. I have often thought of the similarities of what Rory Noland says about called and volunteer church musicians and how with a few semantic changes, this applies to all kinds of service to our Lord. We are sustained in things to which we are called in a way that those who volunteer are not.

    All of us are called to worship, pray, go and give, and many are called to do these things in greater measure. I am living proof hat God is no respecter of persons!

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