There are many adages about the advantages of volunteering; personal growth; giving back to the universe; finding ourselves in service. In fact, everyone from Winston Churchill to today’s entertainers have weighed in on its benefits.
But I’m for keeping things simple.
It’s an approach I’ve learned from a front-row seat working with the volunteer program here, more in line with Nike than Winston: They just do it.
You really have to press to find out what moves our volunteers—because (they’ll tell you) it’s not about them. Rather, our volunteers are keen to the very present work of advancing God’s kingdom, and they know their individual tasks are crucial to the Gospel whole—what our President, Stephen Weaver, calls “setting the table and getting out of the way.”
Clearly, God is at work at these beautiful facilities on the bluff, meeting our guests right where they are—from the joyful reunion of parents and grandchildren who come together for a week of family camp, to the single mom who arrives hopeful but weary of anything really good happening in her broken family.
Our dear friend and volunteer Carl Edwards said he delights “…in being part of God’s plan because God has a plan for everyone at Sandy Cove.” We have front-row seats to that, too. But before the first guest arrives, He’s already at work here through people like Carl—volunteers who simply delight in participating, and making sure the “table” is ready.
All of it matters: the folding of sheets and towels by the hundreds; the hours of data entry that capture evaluation info submitted at the end of every program; standing on the sloppy rubber mat in the dish pit to ease the load of the kitchen crew; or hauling branches to clear the campground in advance of guests who prefer things more rustic.
All of it plays a part, because it’s not about the small tasks; it’s about the whole shebang. “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10)
Volunteering brings us into the unfolding work of God—a privilege, indeed.
If you are interested in learning more about our volunteer program, go to Volunteer Opportunities