If you spend time in volunteer ministry, do you ever wonder if that time is producing fruit? Do you wonder if your efforts are worth the . . . effort?
The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.” So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword. —Exodus 17:8-13, NIV
When I first volunteered in the Audio/Video Tech area of Real Life Ministries, one of the first things my supervisor did was to give me a small card with the above Scripture written on it. He let me read it then he said, “If you’re gonna participate in volunteer ministry, you’ve got to understand the role we all play, right? Now who all do you see in this story?”
“Well,” I answered, taking time to study the brief passage once again, “There’s Joshua, Moses of course, Aaron and Hur.”
“Exactly,” he said, “And as part of the A/V team, and especially us on the soundboard, taking all the roles that these men are playing within the context of that passage, what role do you think we’re playing here? Who do you think we are?”
I looked at it again, puzzled. “Umm,” I said, “not sure.” (I’m lousy at tests under pressure!)
He smiled, most likely knowing that’s exactly what I would say.
“Well,” he began, “Joshua is the focus of everyone’s attention at this point, so he’s basically center stage. Moses is . . . well, Moses. He’s the one running the whole thing. Aaron is both Moses’ voice and the voice of God, so he’s the one in communication with everyone else. And then there’s Hur.”
“The only part Hur plays in this whole ordeal with the Amalekites is to hold up Moses’ hand. That’s it. Not much. Yet, without him, Joshua would have failed. Moses would have failed. And the Israelites would have suffered a crushing defeat to a far superior force. Yet, here he is. A small part; most likely unseen by everyone but the three of them there on that hill: But crucial.”
“That’s us! We’re Hur. In fact, that’s volunteer ministry in a nutshell: Small, mostly unseen, yet crucial to the success of this, or frankly any, church.”
So here’s to all the Hurs out there doing volunteer ministry!
The next time you pass out a bulletin, greet a guest, sing in the choir or adjust the EQ on the pastor’s mic, remember: it may be a small part, unseen, unsung, soon forgotten; yet you play a necessary and crucial role in the success of that service, of your church and ultimately of Jesus’ mission to us all!
The unseen hands. The unsung heroes! The Hurs!