I've had the opportunity to volunteer in several ways since being in Goshen. I've done everything from mentoring at the local high school, cleaning cafeteria tables and coaching girls cross country. Right now I'm currently volunteering as a "Coach" for an incredible after-school program called 5 Star. Here's why I do it:
1. It gets me out of the office and in to the community. It's not that I mind being in the office. Honestly, our office is one of the most fun places in Goshen! But, my influence is small if I stay in my office. I need to get out and rub shoulders with the people in our community.
2. It allows me an opportunity to serve. Many people volunteer their time at church. That is AWESOME and we need people to do that. My job is AT the church, though, so the stuff the church does to be involved in the community ... well ... that's my job. I'm not really volunteering. So, I need to be intentional about getting out and doing something that allows me to serve others that doesn't involve our church.
3. It helps me understand our volunteers better. Our ministry depends on volunteers. I am so thankful and grateful for everything that our volunteers do to help and to serve. I'm amazed at their dedication. I want to vounteer to better understand the demands on our volunteers. As a volunteer there are times I have to say "no" because I have other responsibiliites. Volunteering better helps me understand when my volunteers need to say "no" to something. It helps me be sensitive to the time I ask of them.
4. It helps me lead by example. What I mean by that is that since I'm volunteering my time, it give me a little credibility with our volunteers. If I ask them to volunteer for something, I better be volunteering my time as well.
5. It's rewarding. It's not easy. It is a sacrifice of time. But, it's rewarding to know you're plugging in to the community and investing in the lives of others.
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