Volunteer and Let God Work through You

group of volunteers

I have spent many hours volunteering at local ministries, but it wasn’t until I was a program director at a ministry that I fully understood the impact of volunteers. I could do everything I needed to prepare for Monday night classes for those in my program, but without volunteers, the classes we offered would not have taken place. Each volunteer brought a unique set of skills and gifts and impacted the lives of the women in the program, perhaps in ways he or she will never know. And for some of the women, it was through the life and testimony of a volunteer that they came to know Jesus and His love for them.

Have you ever wondered how your church might serve your community? Have you considered volunteering in your community as an individual or a family? What impact might volunteering for a local ministry have on your life and the lives of others? Here are a few tips to consider as you seek ways to serve:

  • Begin praying individually or as a group for the place God would have you to serve.
  • Identify several ministries or organizations that serve those in your community. Some ideas may include a local Christian Women’s Job Corps (CWJC)/Christian Men’s Job Corps (CMJC) site, a food pantry, a clothing closet, a tutoring program, or English as a second language classes.
  • Decide how often (weekly, monthly, etc.) and when you can serve.
  • Research the ministries to learn about them and the ways you can volunteer. Usually a basic overview is available on an organization’s website.
  • Share with those in your group about these organizations and decide which one seems to be the best fit for your group.
  • Schedule a time to go and visit with someone and learn more about the ministry and its needs. You may choose to visit with more than one ministry to determine which opportunity is best for you and your group.
  • In the beginning, choose one place to volunteer your time. Investing your time in one ministry can have many benefits. Over time, your group may feel comfortable with volunteering at various places in your community.
  • Check to see if the organization you are interested in has a volunteer orientation. If so, make sure that those in your group are willing to attend. These usually help your group understand the ministry, your responsibilities as a volunteer, and how you will be serving.
  • Once you are ready to volunteer, commit to serve during a time you know you will be able to keep. Make this a priority and treat it as you would your job.
  • Be flexible and available to adjust to the needs of the ministry in which you are volunteering. Often needs change, and your willingness to adjust will greatly bless the ministry site leaders.
  • As you are volunteering, do it with excellence. Remember you are representing Jesus above all else. Serve with joy and gladness and let God work through you!

Lena Plunk is a ministry consultant with WMU and CWJC/CMJC national coordinator.

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