For most of us, our schedules are so tight, and our to-do lists so endless, the last thing we want to do is commit to another project or group. However, Chalice’s religious education (RE) program is one area in which you should not cut corners. Our kids’ ability to create and develop their own core of meanings, values, and commitments relies heavily on the amazing network of congregants, whether you are a parent or not.
You might think you don’t have anything to offer, or that someone else is better fit to volunteer with children and youth. But passing the buck is exactly why so many volunteers end up burned out; it’s always the same few people.
Here are five reasons why you should get involved (and how to do it without getting overwhelmed):
It takes a village: As the saying goes, “It takes a village to raise a child,” and the same is true for creating and maintaining a positive and nurturing faith environment within a congregation. Chalice is the village and you are a villager.
A little goes a long way: Maybe you work full time and have other commitments and responsibilities. The big mistake here is thinking volunteering has to be an “all or nothing” thing. It doesn’t. When it comes to helping out, a little can really go a long way. Spending a few hours per week or month takes the edge off of someone else who’s probably already doing more than their share. So check your calendar and figure out how much time you can really devote to volunteer work, then make a commitment and stick to it.
Everyone has something to offer: Volunteering in a children’s program can seem daunting if you believe you have to have teaching experience or be a “super nurturer” to contribute anything of worth. But volunteering in RE is so much than that. Everyone is good at something, which means everyone has something to offer. In addition, different kids respond to different adults—your personality may be just the one to reach and inspire a child.
Chalice kids will benefit: Helping to oversee programs and projects for our children and youth will give our children and youth a more meaningful experience, and models the importance of participation in the larger community — and that should be motivation enough for anyone. It sends a positive message that you consider RE worthwhile.
You’ll feel good: Not only will your volunteer efforts pay off by enhancing the experience of our children and youth at Chalice, you’ll feel pretty good about yourself too. Doing for others feels right, and it’s contagious.
So, consider volunteering in Chalice’s Religious Education program—it’s sure to get those feel-good endorphins flowing.
Director of Family Ministries