Several people or organizations have made attempts to subdivide the church into classes of people. Some examples include â€œiron-rodâ€ and â€œliahonaâ€ members, â€œliberalâ€ and â€œconservativeâ€ members, and even â€œorthodoxâ€ and â€œheterodoxâ€ members. Typically these labels seem to have the intent of looking down upon some other group of people, and do not seek to improve the church in any way shape or form. Thus, I consider these labels worthless, and would like to suggest a different line that may be more useful to define in the membership of the church. I would like to move away from the theological foundations of our beliefs, and instead focus on the activity of two types of members. In my dichotomy, I will label these two groups participants and volunteers. The basic concept here is that there are two groups of people who are at church, those who go to church to be helped, and those who go to church to help others. This is much like any other charitable organization, and it doesnâ€™t mean either group is evil.
Hereâ€™s what we do know:
1. The goal of the church is to transition those who need help to having been helped, and then to volunteers to help others.
2. Members may be volunteers and participants at the same time, depending on different aspects of their lives. It thus becomes imperative to evaluate the capabilities and interests of each member to determine whether they are able and willing to serve.
3. Often participants may not know that they need help or in what area of their life they need help. This tells us it is important to have competent volunteers in decision making and facilitating positions to diagnose the participants.
4. Often Volunteers may think they are able (or unable) to do things, only to find out they did not understand the requirements of what was needed to be done. It thus becomes imperative to have clearly defined expectations. (It may even be useful to interview a candidate about their willingness to take on a type of position rather than merely call them to a position.)
5. Neither Volunteers or Participants are always honest. This is a challenge which must be overcome.
6. If Volunteers do not believe they are helping, they may quit participating.
7. If Participants do not believe they are being helped, they may quit participating.
8. For the help to be effective, one of the greatest needs of the participant and the greatest requirements on the volunteer is consistency.
Are there conclusions you do not agree with? Are there other conclusions we can draw?