the shape of leadership

Five Benefits of Volunteering

Motivate people to move from the sidelines and join your team

Influence Magazine on April 25, 2018

Imagine what your church would be like without volunteers. You would have no greeters at the front doors to meet first-time guests. There would be no ushers to help collect the offerings. Parents with small children would have a much harder time joining the service because the nursery would be empty. And the service itself would be short, with no volunteer musicians to lead worship.

Now imagine your church full of active volunteers serving in every area. For some pastors, that may seem like a pipe dream — but it shouldn’t. God wants each member of your church to use his or her gifts for the Kingdom. Of course, getting people to answer the call to serve isn’t always easy.

Here are five benefits of volunteering to share with your congregation. When people are reluctant to get involved, point out some of the perks of pitching in.

1. It Improves Your Health

The Corporation for National and Community Service reports that volunteering makes you healthier. Getting involved in a good cause can even help lower blood pressure. Volunteering also encourages other beneficial activities, like walking and exercising. Those who volunteer tend to live healthier lifestyles.

Make sure people know that God designed them to help others and wants them to get involved.

2. It Prolongs Your Life

Not only are you likely to enjoy better health, but volunteering may even help you live longer. Harvard researchers found that adults over age 50 who volunteer regularly had a lower risk of heart disease, stroke and premature death.

3. It Changes Your Perspective

One of the biggest roadblocks to volunteering is a lack of time. How many times have you heard someone say they’re just too busy? One study published in Harvard Business Review shows that those who volunteer their time actually feel like they have more time. It seems volunteering shapes people’s perspectives in a positive way.

4. It Increases Your Happiness

The changes in your health and outlook contribute directly to your happiness. A U.K. study links volunteering to higher levels of mental well-being. Researchers found that older adults who volunteered regularly were less likely to experience depression.

5. It Enriches Your Friendships

Getting involved can increase your social circle and deepen your relationships. What better way to make lasting friendships than by working side-by-side for a cause that’s making an eternal difference? Giving a few hours a month provides an opportunity to interact with other volunteers, as well as the people you’re serving.

These are all great benefits of volunteering, and those in your church who are sitting on the sidelines should know about them. But these perks still pale in comparison to the spiritual blessing of giving our time, talent and treasure to the Lord’s work. Jesus taught that He sees and rewards even the smallest acts of compassion and generosity (Matthew 10:42) and that when we serve others, we’re really serving Him (Matthew 25:40). No matter how you motivate your church to step up and jump in, make sure people know that God designed them to help others and wants them to get involved.


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