When someone is elected to an office in the local church, he or she must always remember that this call comes from God. I'm sure that every member who feels this conviction will have a reason to accomplish more for God's church. Thousands of volunteer workers, engaged and committed to the Lord's work, make the church grow each day in a healthy way.

But consider this: In the midst of the church's large army of workers, could someone be performing the Lord's work for the wrong reasons? If so, these individuals can cause personal damage as well as damage to the church itself.

Reasons include:

Feelings of guilt. God does not desire guilt as a motivating factor in the Christian's life. As leaders, we need conviction that we were called and that we are important to God. Feeling guilty may separate us from God and cause us to serve for the wrong reasons.

Pressure. God does not pressure anyone to accomplish the work of His church. Psychological pressures or insistence from other members, pastors, or leaders do not produce the happiness God wants to see in those who work for Him.A desire to please people. Although it isn't wrong to do something for God in the hope that people will be pleased by what we accomplish, we may be more tempted to please people than to please God when we participate in a church activity. The apostle Paul expressed this concern to the Christians in Galatia by referring to his own experience: "For now do persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I yet pleased men, I would not be a servant of Christ" (Galatians 1:10). Working for the church in hopes of pleasing others can surely be dangerous.

Pride. A well-controlled ego can be an instrument of blessing in God's hands and a good motivation for doing His work; however, an out-of-control ego can bring spiritual damage to the person, the church, and his or her relationships with other members. Any church activity that offers power, status, or prestige can easily produce sinful feelings of self-important greatness. Try to find happiness in the simplicity of a pure spirit of dedication and service.

Reaching for salvation. There is absolutely nothing you can do to buy salvation. Salvation is free and is never achieved by your own works. Salvation will always be a gift from God so that no one can glorify himself or herself (Ephesians 2:8- 10). God's workers should always possess certain Christian motivations: knowledge about the gift of redemption performed by God in their favor, the conviction of His call for the service they perform, the comprehension of the purposes He has for their lives, and the desire to glorify His name. These are surely good motivations for your service.

Ellen G. White emphasizes certain characteristics that should be considered when nominating people to certain church responsibilities: "When responsibilities are to be entrusted to an individual, the question is not asked whether he is eloquent or wealthy, but whether he is honest, faithful, and industrious; for whatever may be his accomplishments, without these qualifications he is utterly unfit for any position of trust" (Christian Service, 242).

To work for the church is a great privilege. To serve with the correct motivation is even better. "So that, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not without fruit in the Lord" (1 Corinthians 15:58). This was Paul's advice to the Christians in Corinth, and it still applies to us today. Think about that!

Jonas Arrais