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Published on christianpost.com - October 21, 2013
By Brian K. Dodd*
I don't know where I would be without a man named Lenis Black. With the trajectory I was on, I certainly would not be the person I am today. Who is Lenis Black you ask? Lenis was a volunteer at Acworth United Methodist Church. He was my first Sunday School teacher when I began attending church in 1980.
I was talking today about the practices of the best church volunteers. The conversation caused me to go back 33 years and remember the incredible impact Lenis had on my life.
•The Best Volunteers Provide Stability And Security - After my parents divorced, my mother began taking her three children to church hoping the environment of Acworth United Methodist Church would provide her children some level of stability. Thanks to Lenis and others, my mother made the correct decision.
•The Best Volunteers Make Church Interesting - Lenis was a great teacher, humourous, and very interesting. He talked about things teenage boys appreciated and made the Bible come alive.
•The Best Volunteers Build Relationships That Extend Beyond Sunday Morning - Lenis had a son who was one of my best friends. This was a good excuse for him to periodically show up at school to simply see how I was doing.
•The Best Volunteers Care About People - The thing I remember most about Lenis was when called me during the Georgetown vs Villanova showdown in January 1984. There was no agenda as he was just investing in my life. Funny thing, I remember every aspect of that phone call to this very day.
•The Best Volunteers Model The Christian Life - Great volunteers are a picture of the desired destination at which others wish to arrive. The reality is that when a divorce happens, a void is created in the child's life. It is simply unavoidable. The void of a Godly man was filled by Lenis. He gave me a picture of what a man sold out to Christ looked like.
•The Best Volunteers Expose Others To Church Leadership - The best volunteers consciously expand the leadership circle. Shortly after becoming a Christian, Lenis walked me into Senior Pastor Jim Lowery's office to pray before a service. Due to my naivety, I had no idea what was going on or what to pray. However, that single decision to have me in that setting propelled me on a path that I'm still on to this day.
•The Best Volunteers Are Extravagantly Generous - Lenis taught our class for the four years of high school. Each year he wrestled with whether he should return or not. He always did and my life was never the same. In fact, he has taught sunday school classes of different ages at Acworth United Methodist for over 40 years.
I am so glad for the investment Lenis made in my life. I will thank him every day for all of eternity.
The full blogpost can be found HERE.
*Brian Dodd's daytime job is as a Generosity Architect and leadership consultant for INJOY Stewardship Solutions. During the last 10+ years, he has spent each day having one-on-one conversations with many of the greatest church leaders in America. He also also has over 25 years of church volunteer and staff experience. Check out his blog: Brian Dodd on Leadership.