Volunteer: Be the Hands and Heart of Jesus

fmsc2013By Paul Gueldner

Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”  Matthew 9:37-38 (RSV)

Jesus’ words in this scripture reflect the reality of our world: there is so much need out there, but not enough people willing to fill the need. There is a deep desire inside all of us to “make a difference”, but yet it is often hard to commit time to volunteering. We tend to focus on the reasons we can’t volunteer: Not enough time, too busy, takes time away from family, etc. I encourage you to take a few moments to consider how volunteering your time to help others may benefit you even more than the people you’re helping.

Benefits of volunteering:

  • Focus is on someone other than myself
  • The worries of my day should fade to the background for the time I am volunteering
  • Doing something physical may relieve my stress level and burn some energy
  • Building community by interacting with other like-minded people for a common cause
  • Significant amounts of work can be accomplished by a group of volunteers compared to a single individual acting alone
  • Feeling of deep satisfaction that “I have made a difference in the world”

Questions for the potential volunteer:

  • What do I do well?
  • What would I like to continue to do?
  • What would I like to do outside of my normal work or life?
  • Can I spare 15 minutes, 30 minutes, or one or two hours per week?
  • What are my priorities in life?
  • Can I do it all?
  • Is what others want me to do the same as what I want to do?
  • How does my regular job affect my willingness to volunteer?
  • How have I taken care of myself today?
  • How have I helped take care of someone else today?
  • Is my service grounded by my faith or am I just doing this work to look good for others?
  • Is this really a good use of my time?
  • Am I present and focused in my service time or am I distracted by the other concerns of life?
  • Does my life demonstrate the love of Christ for me?  For others?

These questions are not intended to cause feelings of guilt and shame, ie. “I haven’t done enough” or “ I must be selfish if I haven’t volunteered much”. These questions instead, are intended to help us reflect upon our values, our use of time and how we want to contribute to the world. If you feel moved to do some volunteering, there are lots of opportunities at Prince of Peace and in the community to be the hands, feet, and heart of Jesus in the world.

3 Ways to get involved now:

  1. Visit the volunteer page
  2. Help us pack one million meals to feed starving children around the world February 6 – 9 at Prince of Peace. Register and donate.
  3. Volunteer beyond Prince of Peace – check your workplace; check out the United Way and its partner organizations; check out a charity or organization with which you are already familiar – see where they could use your help.

What else can I do if I don’t have time to volunteer?  Pray for those who do volunteer; give donations (physical or monetary) to your chosen ministries or charities with gladness; think about where your particular skills or knowledge may be helpful to the church or other organization and see if you can spare a small amount of time for gifting that to God.

God’s blessings on your work this week and every week.  May your life reflect the love of the Lord that we share.  Amen.

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