A New Word for Your Vocabulary

August 16 | By Phil Waldrep

The other day a friend taught me a new word.


The word is “volun-told.”


Here is how he explained it.


His boss came to his office and told him that he was looking for a volunteer to work on a new project.


My friend knew the boss wanted him to do it but my friend didn’t want to.


But my friend knew that he would feel guilty if he didn’t do it.


In other words, he was being volun-told.


The problem, he said, with being volun-told is your heart isn’t in it.


You don’t have any passion and you do only the least amount required.


I wonder if, maybe, that is happening in our churches.


Everyone involved in church leadership knows there are people who accept positions – maybe to teach a class or lead a mission organization – who lack any passion and never put any effort into it.


They are probably there because they were volun-told.


Someone on a committee or a staff member approached them about accepting the responsibility.


They didn’t want to do it but they felt guilty if they didn’t. 


They didn’t want anyone to be disappointed in them, so they accepted the position when their heart wasn’t in it.


What can we learn from this new word?


As leaders, we shouldn’t pressure people to accept assignments they don’t want. 


It is better not to do it at all than to have someone acting out of guilt instead of passion.


And as people approach us, we need to say no if we have not desire to do it.


After all, volunteering is better than being volun-told.


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