3 Reasons to Start Volunteering
Volunteering or serving others (as it is commonly referred to in the church) is something every person is asked at some point in their life. Like with most things, everyone looks for reasons to start. It wasn’t until I started applying for University that I needed volunteering hours that I started thinking of the reasons I should start volunteering. The initial decision to volunteer was forced on me because of my application. I’ve learned that it makes a difference how you volunteer when the reasons behind it are unselfish. When I moved away from home and started school I started volunteering at science camps and different daycares. I love working with kids, but I didn’t have a passion to volunteer. So when the time came to go I felt like I had to go to a job I didn't like and not get paid for it. After I had finished my volunteer hours for my applications, I wrestled with the idea of volunteering in the church I was attending. I talked with one of the leaders about it and decided to started volunteering in the children’s church. It was the best decision I ever made, it set the course for the next 5 years of my life. It no longer felt like a job but a privilege I got each weekend. I learned new things and found there are other reasons to think about before volunteering. I want to share with you guys my experience and the top 3 reasons you should start volunteering if you are on the fence about it.
1. God calls us to serve.
God sent his son to serve us, to give his life for our sins (Mark 10:45). If the Son of God, the King of Kings serves us, we can definitely take a little time out of our week to serve others around us. There are so many different ways to serve others. Hospitals, schools, churches, centers, abroad opportunities and the list goes on. There are so many different places and programs that allow you to serve in your community. It’s a quick google search. I’ve volunteered in daycares, science camps, sports and churches. I’ve always chosen to volunteer with children, I enjoy teaching them and watching them grow and learn. As a swimming coach volunteer I got to watch kids experience something new and scary and become little pro swimmers by the end. Working with kids is my gift - a gift that God gave me, and I intend to use it for his glory (1 Peter 4:10). What are some of your gifts? Maybe it’s teaching, or technology, whatever is there is a way to use that for God and his glory.
2. Doing something for someone else is great.
That feeling is so rewarding. For me it's seeing kids smile Sunday mornings. It’s just what I need after a long week and to start off the next week on a great note. It may seem like a selfish reason for volunteering, but in the end you're doing something good for someone else. You may not receive anything in return but you can be happy with the knowledge that what you did was good and it's okay to feel good about it. I love that feeling of watching a little one tell their mom and dad what they learned about God and all the fun they had. I may not get anything physical in return but that feeling is enough for me.
3. You get connected with other great people.
A lot of volunteering jobs or projects are group events. Whether its a weekly obligation or just a months project you are always with a group of others. This is a great opportunity to meet great people. I’m biased to this reason being the best reason because I met my husband while volunteering at a children’s bible camp. The friends you make while volunteering can become lifelong friends in a matter of hours. These people also happen to be, most common, like minded people. The group of people I've met and volunteered with have been some of the most amazing and inspiring people. They have become such a big part of my life. On top of meeting and making lifelong friends - its fun. You spend your time doing something great while enjoying every minute of it with the people you are with. There are many different reasons to volunteer; some do it because they have to, some because they feel like they have to because they are being told it’s what they should do. I think volunteering should be done because you want to. It should be done with an unselfish heart. Your biggest reason to volunteer should be that you want to. These three reasons are kind of like the icing on top, the next 3 best things. They might be helpful to get started, but if your heart isn’t in it, try something else. Try a different program, or event, maybe take a break and come back to it at another time. If these reasons don’t help make your decision to volunteer a little easier try talking with someone who volunteers. Hearing others stories about volunteering might encourage you to give it a try. Hopefully my stories were a little help for you and your decision. There are many resources to check out for volunteering options. Any company would have a volunteer section on their website. There are also listings on indeed or other job search engines. Look around there are so many opportunities available in any community.