Friday, April 24, 2009

Give and Take

I was over at the Florida Christian Center this afternoon, they had asked me to come to their Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon and speak a little bit about volunteering. They invite any resident who has volunteered their time and talent in any way over the previous year to work on their monthly mission project or to make someone's day a little brighter. As they were eating their lunch I looked over the crowd and wondered if it would even be possible to count up all the volunteer hours represented by all of these lovely souls over their lifetimes. I felt as though I were preaching to the choir so to speak but I spoke about all the benefits that come from volunteering. So many recent studies have indicated that there is in fact a strong correlation between volunteering and improved health and longevity. And this is a case where more is indeed better, those who volunteer more are the most likely to benefit from increased health and well being. That, in turn, leads to more volunteering which keeps on bringing the benefits. It's a self-reinforcing cycle. Volunteers also gain a sense of purpose and are more satisfied with life. There's a rhythm of giving and receiving that's just a wonderful result of putting yourself out there to help make this world a better place and there are so many great ways to volunteer your time and talents. There is, literally, something for everyone to do so check with your church, your local school or hospital, nursing home or senior center for the opportunity that is just right for you. The rewards are amazing.

1 comment:

suzanne said...

Yes, Yes - there is always some type of ministry that can be done, no matter your age or physical limitations!
I love that you've written this post. For years I've felt that our chuches (in general) tend to do a poor job of helping our older members remain in vital ministry as they age. We do well helping children explore new ministry options as they get older, but I think we must figure adults know what to do. I remember conversations with people who were no longer physically able to "do" the volunteer ministry that they had "always done" in the church, and they just didn't see any other opportunities... It's never too late to try something new. And all ministry has value beyond measure!
Thanks for the reminder.