Anyone who’s come to Substance for any period of time has likely heard me talk about the top two predictors of spiritual growth: (1). How many intimate Christian friends you have; (2). And do you have a weekly ministry in your church that charges you up?
Recently, I found another study on volunteerism that makes a similar argument. In the book, “the How of Happiness” Sonja Lyubomirsky talked about a study on volunteerism. Researchers studied a large group of people who had an unpaid role in which they “helped others.” And then, after comparing this group to a large group of people who didn’t volunteer anywhere, they wanted to find out if there were any disparities in lifestyle satisfaction. And the results were fascinating!
The study found, “those who volunteered experienced seven times more life satisfaction than those who didn’t volunteer.” Even stranger, when the acts of kindness happened on a single day, (say for example, a Sunday), people experienced a “significant elevation in their happiness.” (Page 127).
Wow! If you ever needed an argument for getting involved in church, it’s this! Volunteers experience seven times more satisfaction in life! We are not talking about a 300% increase… Not even 500%, but 700%! That’s why, at Substance, we always say: YOU need ministry more than we NEED YOU in ministry. When hurting people come to us, we want to solve their problems. But sometimes, people simply need to focus on something bigger than their problems, and that’s helping others. As Jesus put it, there’s more blessing in giving than there is in receiving. Or as Proverbs 11:25 puts it, “he who refreshes others will himself get refreshed.”
That’s why, over the next year, Substance has an ambitious goal. We want to double the number of ministries that we have in our church. This means, more small groups, more outreach, more prayer, more of everything! We want to see hurting people experience the power of Christ in every way imaginable. And that’s why we’re doing our “Imagine offering” this weekend. Our goal is to launch two new ministry training centers: one in Spring Lake Park, another in downtown Minneapolis.
Obviously, most of you already know, I didn’t plant this church so that I could talk about money. We planted this church so that we could see hurting people receive the help they need. And if that’s something you’re interested in, then join us this Sunday in making this dream a reality. Get Involved in helping others!
On a side note, we just relaunched the website for these projects at www.ImagineSubstance.com. Feel free to check it out and get inspired at all of our progress. And don’t forget to pray! We are about to accomplish some of the greatest exploits this church has ever participated in. And, although it’s a fun time, we believe it can be even better as we all seek the Lord in prayer.
But no matter where you attend church, get involved! The gateway to true fulfillment comes through ministry. Besides, life is too short to stay stuck on the bench. Amen?
I love you guys! “Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” (First Corinthians 15:58).