The Value of a Volunteer
Pastor Darrell Johns
One of the most known and cherished verses in the Bible is John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” God loved. God gave.
We were created in the image of God, and when His Spirit lives in us, we will demonstrate His love to other people. The same writer who quoted Jesus in the famous words of John 3:16, also penned these equally inspired Scriptures. “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him” (1 John 3:16-19).
Think about those verses. We should follow the example of Jesus to live sacrificially for others. We should be generous in helping others in need. Love is not just something we say; it is something we do. The love of God only dwells in a giving heart. Those verses in 1 John are compelling reasons to volunteer your time to help other people. God’s love can be demonstrated organically in informal settings, or through organized efforts by volunteers.
What is the value of a volunteer? By definition, a volunteer is someone who chooses to give his or her time and energy without expectation of financial remuneration. Currently, 63 million Americans volunteer about 8 billion hours of their time, talent, and effort to improve people’s lives and the natural world. Based on the value of volunteer time, Americans are contributing approximately $193 billion to make our nation a better place. That is the value of a volunteer in U.S. currency, but is that how you calculate the real value of a volunteer?
The economy of the world operates on the financial value of goods and services. An employee earns a living to provide for his or her family. Wages are measured in some form of currency. Volunteers, however, operate on a different value system. They operate in the economy of love that knows no limits and has no price tag. Can you calculate the value of encouragement? Can you measure the worth of a changed life? A smile is worth more than the effort it takes to produce it. Tears of gratitude are more precious than gold. The worth of a soul? Incalculable! There is no way to determine the value of a volunteer.
The Bible teaches the value of volunteering in God’s economy. When we were saved, we were created for good works. Jesus taught that our good works are a light to the world. The Book of Acts shares the story of a woman named Tabitha who was full of good works and was rewarded by being raised from the dead. Jesus taught that it is more blessed to give than to receive, and the specific example was helping those who are weak. (See Ephesians 2:10; Matthew 5:6; Acts 9:36-43; Acts 20:35.)
At Atlanta West Pentecostal Church, at least 339 people volunteer to serve in 705 ministry positions. Our volunteers have the goal of meeting the needs of others and utilizing the gifts God has given them and the abilities they have developed. It is rewarding to see people from diverse cultures and multiple generations serving side by side to advance the Kingdom of God. The ministries of our church are fueled by the dedication and consistency of our valuable volunteers.
Would you volunteer of your time and talent to make a difference for someone else? Would you give of yourself to advance the Kingdom of God? Please make a commitment to the Lord who created you with so much to give. There is a need that is waiting to be filled, and you are the one who can meet that need.
If you are not already involved in the ministry the Lord designed you for, please enlist and join the ranks of those who have found their place in the body of Christ. If you are willing and able to make the commitment, there is a place for you.