Saturday, April 16, 2005

The Volunteer Revolution

Since I’ve written about television so much lately I figured I better prove that I actually read too so here are a few thoughts about the last book I’ve finished, The Volunteer Revolution by Bill Hybels. Spoiler alert! If you want to be surprised, read no further. OK – you’ve been warned – I’m giving away the ending. Volunteering is good.

Seriously, that’s the point of much of the book. I was ready to not like it after chapter one because Hybels seems to be saying that in order for your life to have meaning you have to do work for the church (and he’s willing to define church very broadly here). So, for example, people who run a business get no satisfaction and aren’t serving God until they put on a pair of work gloves and tend to the garden on the church grounds. Really – this is a reasonable summary of chapter one. Now I’ll admit that things got better as the book went on (although, from that point on it became “here’s another way to volunteer or to get people to volunteer”.) But still, it’s amazing that he could get a whole book out of this. There really isn’t much to it.

This book does show some of the ideas that have come out of the massive Willow Creek ministry in Chicago so, for example, it tells about the car repair ministry, which is a pretty cool idea. So, if you’re on a church staff and part of your job is to line up volunteers to do things this book may inspire you to keep at it and it may remind you that asking people to clean the nursery is just as important as asking them to read scripture in or lead singing. Otherwise, I don't think there is much here.

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