This is my dad. This is what I’m going to look like in my mid 50s, minus a small knife scar I plan on acquiring later in life. (Don’t ask me how I know, it’s a Quantum Leap, Scott Bakula kind of thing that would take too long to explain.)
He’s starting a church in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and has asked me to come do some sort of Stuff Christians Like thing with him in the fall. I told him no problem because anything I do well when it comes to writing, speaking, pop n’ locking is because he taught me. (Look at the photo, doesn’t he look like he’s about to open some sort of funk, like he just said “What you talking about Willis?” Mark Acuff was clearing away the clutter of Christianity when I was still in diapers.)
But before we can get to any of that fun stuff, my dad has to wade through the roughly 10 million things you do when you start a church. We talk all the time about what to name it, where to hold it, etc., but one thing I’ve failed to help him with thus far is the list of people you can’t start a church without. I mean you need a pastor, but what about all the other people that a good church requires?
We could probably talk about that subject for weeks, but today, I want to focus on one of the most critical people every church needs, the Swiss Army Knife Volunteer.
Named after the versatile thousand uses pocket tool, the Swiss Army Knife Volunteer is the secret backbone of any growing church. Blessed with boundless energy and do everything volunteering skills that would make both MacGyver and Pepsgruber jealous, the SAKV is irreplaceable.
But how do you find one? How do you identify one in the wild and recruit him/her? How do you know if you are one?
You use the Stuff Christians Like Swiss Army Knife Volunteer Score Sheet:
1. You own a used Volvo station wagon, the preferred car of any SAKV. = +1
2. You have an endless supply of band aids on you at all times. =+2
3. You’re not a musician, but keep a recorder on you just in case someone needs a tune. = +1
4. You’re already planning this summer’s Vacation Bible School. =+1
5. You’re already planning 2010’s Vacation Bible School. = +1
6. Your blood type is Red Bull. = +1
7. Your blood type is available, does someone need some blood? I can give you some right now? = +2
8. When it comes to putting up chairs you’ve got a “0 to folded” time of 2.7 seconds. =+1
9. You last took time off for yourself in 1987. It was a Tuesday. It was an accident. = +3
10. You’re the first one to throw yourself on the “dork grenade” and do whatever activity it is that all the youth group teens are balking at, like holding the sign for the car wash. = +1
11. You answer the phone by saying, “Hello, yes, I’d like to help with that.” = +1
12. You’ve ever used the phrase “servitude.” = +1 point for each use
13. When you go on vacation you get the “volunteer shakes” and find yourself trying to help the hotel housekeepers with the sheets on your bed. = +3
14. Over 80% of your wardrobe consists of t-shirts you got from events you volunteered at. = +1
15. You carry an epi-pen with you at all times because you’re deathly allergic to bees, but beekeepers need volunteers too and you can’t resist helping smoke out a hive. = +5
16. The first thing you say when you open a gift is “Oh, I don’t need something this nice.” = +1
17. People on other continents know you by first name. = +1 for each continent
18. You have “crock pot elbow” from helping out at so many pot lucks. = +1
19. You read the obituaries because, “Hey, strangers need casseroles too.” = +1
20. You’ve never used the phrase “let me pray about it first” when someone’s asked you for help. = +2
21. You’ve ever left an event barefoot because someone else needed your shoes. = +1
22. You were secretly disappointed when your church got a permanent building because loading and unloading all the supply trailers was “fun.” = +1
23. You’re a storm (aftermath) chaser and always have blue rain tarps in the trunk of your car, just in case. = +2
24. You’ll never see this list because you’re too busy volunteering. = +1
25. Someone forwards you this list, you’re too busy to read it, but you still write them a thank you note. = +3
I’ve got to admit, my score was pretty low which is why I’ve already assured my dad that I would make a sucky Swiss Army Knife Volunteer for his new church. How did you score? Do you know someone that needs this list? Email it to them and then ask if you can borrow the roof of their house. They’re going to say yes and the surprising thing is that they’ll probably figure out a way to do it.