I was out jogging the other day and rolling through some of the neighborhoods to give me some scenery. And when I run I do not like to stay on the sidewalks because it is harder on your bones; and this old man needs all the help he can get. So, I run on the street asphalt to give me a little help in enduring the madness. But as you can imagine, this puts me in a better position of getting run over by vehicles – a chance I am willing to take, I guess. So, yeah, I am on my way and all of the sudden I can hear this truck race up behind me pull up next to me. I was thinking, oh man, i'm about to get an earful fro this guy. And then I hear a jovial voice, and as I look to my left, it is the dad of one of my former students. I have not seen this guy or his son in years, since his kid had graduated high school.
He got out of his truck and we proceeded to chat for like forty-five minutes right there on the side of the road. We were laughing so hard about all the stuff that we used to do together in ministry. This dad was one of the guys who you never would have thought would ever help out in ministry. Not because he did not want to, but because he had and still has one of the busiest schedules I have ever heard of. But it just so happened that this guy helped us out with one of our all-niters that we had for the sophomore boys. We were down a driver and needed to get one fast or else it was really going to screw up our toilet-papering escapade. And this kid was like, “Hey, I know my dad is off for a couple of days... maybe he will drive.” We called, he rolled over, and the rest is history.
Although I had known this dad for a some years before because he and his family had been members of the church for a long time, I never thought to ever ask him to be a part of stuff because he did not look to me like the type of guy who would want to spend what little free time he had with a bunch of students. I was wrong. That nite he had the best time and all the boys thought he was the coolest dad in the world. He even helped in the festivities. At the end of the nite he told me that whenever I needed his help to call him. Those are the sweetest words that any youth pastor can ever hear. And so I took him up on his offer.
Over the next few years he was one of the stalwarts in our ministry. He was the dad that put in tons of time on and off campus with our group. He had a great time, always. And when the peeps were around him, they loved it! This guy was a diamond in the rough. I would have never known. I would have never have asked him. And I would have missed out on tons of ministry with a guy who is still a blessing to me. That is the stuff that we talked about on the side of the road the other day. He went on and on about how appreciative he was of me and our staff at church for putting time into his family. I was humbled.
For a guy like him to feel like our team gave to him and not the other way around was incredible. He was thankful to be a part of our activities and on the parental staff. I was shocked. And I know I should not have been, but I always am. I don't know what I would have done without this dad and the time, effort and love that he put into our ministry. God is good. I realized after that first time that he helped us drive for the guys nite out that I needed only to ask more. I needed to be proactive with the parents in our ministry. And as I expected, there were many others who were just waiting to be asked.
Some know it and some do not. The peeps who will spend time in your ministry volunteering are waiting for you a lot of the time. You are the leader and they know that you have a plan, or that you should. Involve as many in the proces as possible. There ware some superstar peeps who are just waiting for an invitation. When is your next event? Who are the peeps you have been meaning to call to spend time in your ministry? Give them a call, you may be pleasantly surprised.