52 Ways: #27

52ways[1]Volunteer to minister to the homebound or make hospital visits

Volunteering is a beautiful thing.  Not only are you meeting a need in the church, but you experience personal fulfillment when you volunteer to serve others.

My husband and I served at a church with the strongest volunteer force I’d ever seen.  That was good since the church had more than 5,000 people attending on any given weekend.  The lead pastor was a wise man and encouraged the church members on a weekly basis to (1) Serve in their area of passion and (2) Recruit others to do the same.  A simple, yet brilliant formula.

Finding our area of passion is important.  If I am being constantly reminded, cajoled, or pushed to show up to serve in a particular ministry in the church, then I probably don’t feel very passionate about that area of ministry.  However, if I find myself looking forward to the next event, class, or meeting because I can’t wait to roll up my sleeves and jump in, then I’ve probably found an area of passion.  Once I’ve discovered my area of passion it is human nature to want to tell others and to invite them to join me.  That’s how strong volunteer teams are formed.  However, they don’t form themselves organically.  It will take leadership to encourage people to begin the process of finding their area of passion in which to serve.

What’s your area of passion?  What floats your boat?  Don’t know?  Try several ministry opportunities to find the one that suits you best.

One area of ministry that is often neglected is that of visiting people who are homebound or hospitalized.  It certainly isn’t a very glamorous ministry and people won’t know who you are because you won’t get any face time in front of the congregation.  Don’t care about accolades and fanfare?  Good, you’re already ahead of the game.  Are you a good listener?  Do you enjoy praying with people?  Does your heart fill with compassion for the sick and hurting?  Your church might have a volunteer program to visit the sick or those who cannot get around well due to physical limitations.  Some training may be involved, but the biggest requirement is the heart to love others and to give the gift of your time.  Some churches have lay-leaders that bring communion to shut-ins and those in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.  Does that interest you?

When you find your area of passion do yourself, your church, your pastor, and your community a favor and spend some of your precious time volunteering.  Don’t allow busyness or lack of time to rob you of the blessing of serving others.  In serving others you are serving your pastor(s) and ultimately serving the Lord through His people.  Then, take that next step and recruit others to join you.  Share your passion.  I guarantee your pastor will be thrilled.  He or she experiences so much joy in serving those who also find joy in serving others.  I’ll say it again, volunteering is a beautiful thing.  Be beautiful.

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