The 5 Benefits of Volunteering

July 23, 2013

in Confessions

Every Saturday night, my boys and I arrive at church an hour before an evening service at Lifechurch.tv. The boys grab a snack and hang out in the lobby while I get started with my tasks. I am a Host Team Leader, and I love it.

50 minutes before service starts all of the greeters, ushers, parking lot attendants, and hospitallity volunteers gather for a quick message to get us all in the right mindset and prayer, then we are off to make sure that everyone who walks through the door feels welcome and comfortable. That's it. That's our whole job.

Over the course of the evening we will greet, serve, seat, and clean. And it's worth every second.

I do get asked frequently why I choose to volunteer my time when I am crazy busy as it is. Why am I willing to give up 2 1/2 hours every week to work for free?

1. Helping Others – When you take the time to volunteer, you have the opportunity to help others. Whether you are handing someone a cup of coffee before church or helping rebuild a home, every little action you take can make a difference in someone else's life. Searching for a pat on the back is not a reason to volunteer. More often than not, you won't be aware of the impact you are having. But if you show up, give your time and energy, and have a good attitude, it is impossible not to have an impact.

2. Teaching Your Children Values – While my boys are not old enough to be volunteers at the church themselves yet, they find other ways to help out such as picking up and putting cards on chairs. They boys love helping out and running around with the other volunteers' kids after service. And they are learning. They are learning that it is good to help other people without expecting something in return. They are learning that church is a community. That working together is fun. That volunteering is a good use of our time. (He would never do this at home!)

cleaning up at LifeChurch.TV

3. Meeting New People – For several years I would look around and wonder where people my age made friends. I work a full time job so I'm not up at the kids' school to meet other parents. I went to church, but as a semi-introvert (good at talking in front of people, bad at approaching people) I would attend service and never meet anyone. Bars were just out of the question.

But then I started volunteering and I have made some wonderful friends! I look forward to seeing them each week because they put a smile on my face. Because I care about them and they care about me. Because we laugh, we cry, we move closer to God.

I have even managed to remeet The Daddy, who is also a volunteer at the church. He is finding a new path in life and it suites him.

4. Learning New Skills – The skills you learn volunteering can e put on your resume and will help you get a job. Not just for your skills but for volunteering. When I volunteered at church, I didn't have to go to an interview to see if I was qualified. They taught me what I need to know. I have learned how to make giant urns of Starbucks coffee, how to stack chairs like an expert, and how to drive a golf cart into a church and back it into an area for charging. I'm sure these are all highly marketable skills. But more importantly, I am learning how to be more open with people, friendlier.

These past few weeks, LifeChurch.TV has been doing the At the Movies series, which is a wildly popular series where they show movie clips and build a sermon around it.  Attendance at church doubles and even triples! We serve popcorn and lemonade. The Host Team is extremely busy! We bag popcorn. We make lemonade. We have all learned to have a new respect for people who work in movie theaters.

popcorn

5. Improve Your Mood – No matter what my week has been like, no matter how much I want to just stay home and take a nap, I always feel better after volunteering Saturday nights. Walking in the doors and being met by other people just waiting to smile and hug you makes it pretty hard to stay in a bad mood. When people walk through the doors and they are lost, hurting, in need, and I can help them, it is hard to keep worrying about my own problems. Each week I leave church with a renewed attitude. God is with me. I have friends that love me. And I am making an impact in the lives of others. How does that not improve your mood?

BlogCause is a community of bloggers who seek to encourage volunteerism by sharing our stories. For more information, and to join the BlogCause community, please visit blogcause.org.

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Lindsey Renuard is a blogger, YouTube beauty expert, and the Managing Editor of the Skiatook Journal.

{ 2 comments }

Christy July 23, 2013 at 11:26 am

I love this entry on your blog! Volunteerism is so rewarding! Most of mine is done at my girls' school with reading – nothing feels better to me than seeing a child's face when they all of a sudden "get it" and are able to read something they couldn't before. And the spontaneous hugs in the hallway are fantastic!

 

The Pro Diva July 23, 2013 at 11:55 am

I love this post! Volunteering is the perfect way to give back when you have been blessed with so much. It also builds character. Congrats on being such a great role model for your children and for others!

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