Give thanks to God for volunteers

David Rock is inspired by a small army of young people in yellow t-shirts.

One of the most encouraging aspects of my work in IMYCD is the amount of time and energy that volunteers give to the Church. In youth and children’s work, in many societies, there are volunteers who week by week give their time and energy to the kids they work with, sharing their faith and lives with them and helping them to engage with God. At Soul Mates and Autumn Soul we see them give up a weekend with their families to sleep on a church hall floor, engage in all sorts of activities, walking miles, and listening to worship music that may not be to their taste! Their response? They love it and we see that in their faces.

We have the privilege of working with some amazing young people as stewards at the events we run and as leaders at other activities, like Follow the Star or Overflow, and it staggers me how much they give and how willing they are to do whatever we ask.

This year at Autumn Soul, I listened as a head steward told the gathered stewards how, when he was a child at Soul Mates, he watched the guys in yellow t-shirts and wanted to be one of them. Then he went to Autumn Soul and again wanted to be one of the guys in a yellow t-shirt. When he was old enough to be one, he applied and now he was in his final year having led the stewards for the past number of years. He is now an intern in a church and seeking God’s direction for his future.

What hits me about this story is example. Here are young people who volunteer to help and show that it’s not all about the upfront stuff but the work behind the scenes that makes a difference. They clean, they empty, they carry, they guide and look after, they have fun and they show Jesus through their actions.

As you think of all the volunteers who work for your church, give thanks to God for them - those upfront and those particularly behind the scenes, and the example they give of a God who came to serve.

The Rev Dr David Rock is the General Secretary of the Irish Methodist Youth and Children’s Department.

Click for more information on IMYCD.