THOUGHTS ON VOLUNTEERING

    FAMILY 1I cannot, with all sincerity, say I am surprised at the number of people who choose not to volunteer although sometimes someone says something that catches me off guard. I was at a family gathering once in which I was suppose to leave early to serve at church and a cousin calmly stated: “We never volunteer, we leave that to other people.” The matter of fact way this cousin made the statement was so “normal” that I had no come-back.

There are some religions that require some type of community service; I do not consider that being a volunteer. Some school systems require community service hours prior to graduating: I do not believe that will encourage individuals to serve later in life.

Serving is never about what you feel like doing though most of us enjoy it. I understand that some people do not have the personality to serve in a homeless shelter and some people work on weekends.

What bothers me is the number of people who complain about the lack of service particularly in the church.

“No one called me when I was in the hospital.”

“I was home sick and no one visited.”

“I am going through a difficult time and ________.”

Church volunteers co more than: greet you when you come in the door, direct traffic, fold programs, or pick up the trash left behind after service. Yes there are those who feed the homeless and visit nursing homes but there are those who call church members when he or she misses a few services or are known to be home ill, take food to those who are too ill to cook for themselves, bring someone to church who would otherwise not be able to attend service.  For the churches who have small group Bible study programs they are facilitated by volunteers. Unfortunately, many hats are worn but a select group of people because others do not have to thus choose not to.

When a person decides to “try” volunteering he or she is amazed.

  • It is not as difficult as he thought.
  • It is not as time consuming as she believed it to be.
  • It is enjoyable as well as rewarding.
  • He is needed because of the shortage of volunteers.
  • She is appreciated no matter how much time is given.

Of course there are quite a few organizations that need volunteers. I believe we must first serve our own household and then serve our extended family which is in the church we are a part of.

If given the opportunity to speak with my cousin again, when she states she leaves serving in the church to other people, I will simply say “we are the other people’.

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