What are your gifts? This is often the question after the question of “where should I serve?” At Helping Hands Street Mission we have had the great privilege of working with amazing volunteers. Some volunteers have been with us from the very beginning, 8 years! Some a little less than that, and some very recent. We have had volunteers come and go, but for the most part when people connect with the friends and family at HHSM, they stay because they just cant help themselves.
Who is a good candidate for volunteering at HHSM? What gifts do you need? The answer is anyone and everyone. Whatever greatness God has put in you, we will use it! We are all given greatness, and sometimes we are searching for some amazing gift or waiting for it to show up, and we forget we are already filled with the Holy Spirit. A wonderful friend of mine Becky who volunteers as the Barton Salon Hair dresser thought her talent was simple and rather boring – she cuts hair. She didn’t realize what a world she would open up by coming down to the mission to cut hair for free for 6 hours a month (she also goes out on Friday nights with her husband to serve on our street outreach team). Her “simple” gift allows her to speak into peoples lives while she has them in the chair and show them how special they are by making them look fantastic with a great shampoo, cut and blow dry. Just a hair cut? Not when you ask someone like Murray who came in to get a hair cut, and left standing a little taller than he did when he came to visit. Becky uses her “simple” gift to change lives.
What is your gift? I can’t cut hair to save my life, and my “talents” are pretty minimal, but I know how to talk. Yep that’s it. I know how to speak to people, listen, and have a great conversation – that’s all. But what these gifts really boil down to is someone’s ability to give love to someone else, whether that’s a hair cut, cup of coffee and conversation, sharing their artistic abilities or cooking talent. Anything that you have inside you that is used for the glory of God is necessary and needed down at HHSM.
As the mission grows the need for more volunteers becomes necessary, and recruiting people can be a challenge sometimes. We are busy. Life is crazy and the only down time you have may not lead you to want to hang out at the Barton Boutique, Hair Salon, Café, Jimmy’s Place, Mama’s Place or street level with our outreach. I understand that. Your time is valuable – actually more valuable than you may even realize. It is a resource that God has given all of us, and like money, we are expected to tithe our time and invest it into the kingdom. If you think this is turning into a recruitment plea you would be correct.
I am pleading with you to invest your time into something that no monetary investment can even come close to giving you the same rate of return. 3 hours of your time per week, 12 hours of your time per month, 144 hours per year can change your life in ways that no other investment can. How much time do you spend watching TV a week? Shopping? On the computer? Driving your car from group to group? Numerous bible studies? Yes even bible studies. You can attend 2 or more a week and they won’t harm you, but why not try living out what the scripture you are studying is teaching? How about taking the time it takes to watch TV (something I am guilty of doing in my down time too much) and investing time into someone else’s life by having a cup of coffee with them, playing darts, laughing, sharing memories, lending an ear, learning a craft, helping them to look better, feel better, teaching them about Jesus by seeing Jesus in them. Why not decide that your new year’s resolution this year will be to invest your time in a great place like HHSM where you can laugh, cry, love, be loved and just share this incredible mess we call life together? What if you gave yourself one year as a challenge to devote 3 hours a week, 12 hours a month, 144 hours a year into the kingdom in a way that will change your life forever?
I dare you to try it. If you are still the same after one year than you don’t ever have to volunteer again with us. Challenge yourself. We have lots of friends and family waiting to see you. Come on down.