Last week 484 volunteers reached beyond the shore to serve our community. Here are a few highlights. We prepared 5,500 meals for the Texas food bank. We worked at the donation center for Habitat for Humanity. We cleaned up six area parks. We played bingo with senior citizens. We prepared 1000 hygiene kits and wrote 500 encouraging notes for sex trafficking victims.
Our community was blessed. But guess what!? So were the volunteers. They experienced firsthand the benefits of serving.
Serving helps us discover and develop our spiritual gifts – God places gifts inside each one of us, seeds of serving others. You’ll never discover your unique contribution until you start serving! A seed will never become what it was designed to become unless it’s planted in the right environment.
We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us Romans 12:6 NIV
Serving allows us to experience miracles – The first miracle Jesus did was at a wedding when he turned jars of water into fine wine. (John 2:1-11) The wedding guests got to enjoy the miracle. The wedding coordinator celebrated the miracle but the only ones who experienced the miracle first hand were the servants who carried the jars. Serving places you right, smack dab in the middle of the miracle!
Serving produces joy – Everyone is looking for joy. We think we’ll find it in possessions and pleasures. Maybe you’ve heard the statement – happiness doesn’t’ come from getting what you want, but being grateful for what you have. Here’s another thought – happiness doesn’t come from getting what you want, but from helping others get what they need! There is no joy like being used by God to make a difference in someone else’s life.
Serving connects you with great friendship – Making the decision to serve God by serving others will connect you with some of the finest people on the planet. Friendships flourish when we roll up our sleeves, link arms and partner with other people to invest in the lives of others.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another Hebrews 10:24-25
Serving increases our faith – Faith grows when we open our heart to be used by God. When we do things we’ve never done before and we are forced out of our comfort zone to a place of radical dependence on God’s power our faith with grow.
Serving is good for the soul – Studies have shown that volunteering is good for the mind and body. It reduces symptoms of stress and depression. Three acts of kindness are better mediation than any drug when it comes to reducing stress. When you start serving it builds confidence, increases energy and you tap into strength you never knew you had.
People who serve drink deeply from life. The live life significantly.
We will continue to reach beyond the shore and hope you’ll partner with us in future outreach opportunities. Click here to learn more about serving opportunities at Shoreline and Beyond the Shore.