Volunteering...Dare to care
Last updated 8/21/2014 at 9:20pm | View PDF
There are many reasons why we don't volunteer – I am selfish, busy, not compassionate, afraid, money is tight, unhappy experience before, timid, don't feel spiritual enough, I have children, little to contribute, soup kitchens are not my thing, only those in leadership should help.
It would be like accepting all the gifts at Christmas and then leaving them wrapped up and never using them.
There are many reasons why we do volunteer – I make a difference, having fun, meeting new people, gaining perspective on my own issues, giving something back, unique opportunities to use your skills, see a new culture.
"Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms." 1 Peter 4:10
What can I do to help – What kinds of work would I like to do and how much time can I give?
How can I be informed – choose organizations you're interested in and then take a tour and ask questions. Investigate, try it out, listen to others, and always pray that the Lord will reveal His will and power in your life.
You should be inquisitive - What kinds of work would I like to do? What groups would l like to help?
Paul spent three years searching to discover God's plan, and it took some quietness to clear away the confusion and pride of his life.
You can be Involved - For you, you'll never get to know your gift while standing on the sidelines watching the work of the ministry. Go out of your way to interact with the people you're serving, other volunteers and staff people.
Taking action will help others - Those with a heart to serve must take small steps, however insignificant they may seem, in getting involved if they want to develop into mature servants. Go out and do something, even if it's small-something tangible, something real. An important aspect of serving is helping others who are in physical need, by providing a meal, giving a ride or writing a card.
Be interested in your community - Keep two things in mind. First, the results. Paul experienced tremendous success and blessing in spite of direct attacks against him.
Second, those who love you and are informed of gifts-Paul had Barnabas: Acts 9: "But when the brethren learned of it, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him away to Tarsus."
In the end, your volunteering will result in personal delight, even though it may also take hard work and diligence. God will give you ease and blessing for using your skills, or failure and unrest if that is not. Be aware of the areas in which people look up to you and respect you. If your heart is open to the Lord's leading, He is ready to bless you. Diligently work at discovering and then developing your gift. Yes volunteering is taxing; it takes up your time, energy and sometimes money. Dare to share. Every person counts!
Lester Moon is founder and executive director of Hands in Community. This Visalia-based association helps in "joining the Hand of the Helper to the Hand of the Needy." Hands in the Community can be reached at 625-3822.