The joy of volunteering

Sara Sheerin knows how much BRF depends on the hard work and good will of volunteers across all our programmes. Here she reflects on the joy of volunteering…

Do something close to your heart

Throughout my life, since as early as my mid teens, I’ve enjoyed volunteering in a variety of ways.

My first experience of volunteering came as a young leader for a local Brownie unit, helping to prepare and lead fun activities for the girls and help them build important life skills.

At university, I volunteered my time to help organise society events, socials and weekend conferences.

More recently, I have found myself volunteering in a church setting and I currently facilitate small group sessions and prayer meetings as well as co-leading our older youth group.

‘Being a volunteer has given to me as much as I’ve given out’

New skills, new people, new balance

Over the years, volunteering has provided me with the opportunity to build and develop my skills as well as discover skills I never knew I had!

It’s allowed me to work with and meet new people and use other skills I might not always have chance to use.

It’s provided variety and balance in my life, and my church volunteering has given additional opportunities to experience and share God in new ways.

I can honestly say that being a volunteer has given to me as much as I’ve given out. There is a joy that comes with volunteering in being able to do something close to your heart.

Some would say Jesus calls all of us to volunteer for him in some way’

A biblical perspective

The subject of work and calling occurs frequently in the Bible. Some would say that Jesus calls all of us to volunteer for him in some way. The disciples gave up their jobs and volunteered for Jesus for years. Sometimes they did this full time, and sometimes they earned some money on the side fishing too!

We are all called by God to do a wide variety of different things. For some this will be paid work, for others it will not, and for still others it will be a bit of both. What we know is that, in all our work and in whatever God calls us to do, God will provide.

So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For… your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Matthew 6:31-33 (NIV)

‘Whatever God calls us to do, he will provide’

Nehemiah and Paul: Old Testament and New Testament volunteers

Examples of volunteering in the Bible come from Nehemiah, who ‘never demanded the food allotted to the governor’ (Nehemiah 5:18) even though he could have done. Yet he still did the work, and God provided for him.

The apostle Paul also spent as much time as possible doing voluntary work, because that work was his real passion and was what God had called him to do. He didn’t ask for money for this work but through God’s provision people supported him (2 Corinthians 11:7-9).

‘We couldn’t do all that we do without them’

Volunteers at BRF

At BRF, we have been blessed with numerous volunteers who support our work. We currently have over 100 volunteers performing diverse roles.

We have people who actively advocate about our ministries, sharing the vision and impact to help others to engage with what we’re doing in the local church.

We have people who share and promote our resources and signpost to advice on offer.

There are those who support other churches and individuals to get involved in some way, providing informal mentoring, for example to help someone start a Messy Church.

Other volunteers provide much-needed administrative support to help us keep going day-to-day, and others still  bring specific expertise they’ve developed in their careers, such as fundraising, business development, legal expertise and prayer ministry.

All of our volunteers bring something unique and special to BRF and we couldn’t do all that we do without them.

Pray with us…

Thank you, Father
For the gifts you have given me,
Of time, experience, opportunity and skills.
May I pass these on willingly and eagerly
In your service and for your name’s sake.

By Martyn Payne

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Sara Sheerin is BRF’s head of people and culture

1–7 June Volunteers' Week. We'd like to say a big thank you to volunteers! Find us on social media to celebrate #volunteersweek

Find out more about BRF volunteers

Messy Church regional coordinators

Regional coordinators are volunteers who support, pray for and communicate with Messy Churches in local regions in the UK and overseas.

Anna Chaplains and Anna Friends

The Anna Chaplaincy movement empowers lay people to be part of supporting older people and meeting their spiritual needs.