In most, if not all communities, many of us are asked to volunteer our time and talents. While finding volunteer opportunities is easy, finding the right one for you might be a little more challenging. You may be thinking, “Why is it important to find something that is right for me? Isn’t giving and volunteering about doing something for others?” It is; helping others is about the recipient. But imagine how much more help you could be, if you participated in a project or opportunity that you are also passionate about?
For many of us, one of the ways we experience joy and growth is when our spiritual gifts are being used to their fullest degree. By spiritual gifts I mean those God-given gifts, joys and passions that we have been given for the enrichment of others. We also have other gifts—life gifts I call them—which are part of how we earn a living, care for our family and serve our community. Life gifts have a spiritual aspect to them, but they are not the same as the spiritual gifts I described.
Sometimes, life gifts and spiritual gifts are one and the same. For example, a musician teacher may earn a living teaching and playing, but also find great joy in being the choir leader at their church. Then again, life gifts and spiritual gifts can be vastly different. A mechanic may love helping people fix their vehicles, but the last thing the mechanic wants to do in his spare time is work on his own car. Instead the mechanic finds joy in being a mentor to a Boy Scout troop.
Many times organizations reach out to us to volunteer and assume that because we are good at numbers or good at handiwork or good at teaching, that this must be our spiritual gift as well. This may or may not be the case. When we are asked to become involved, we must make sure we have discovered what our gifts are and where our passion lies.
Chances are, you can find a perfect match that fits what you’re passionate about. And passionate volunteers are able to contribute even more to the needs of the community, because they’re willing to go the extra mile for whatever cause they’re supporting.