Not Your Parent’s Volunteer Appreciation Night
Both Napoleon and Frederick the Great are credited with the saying “an army marches on its stomach.” While perhaps a slightly less well-known leader than Napoleon, Dan Chaverin, one of the leaders at Westside Family Church is attributed with a similar adage: “a church moves on its volunteers.”
Westside hosted its fourth annual volunteer appreciation event. This was not your typical “baked-chicken-dinner-and-a-certificate-signed-by-the-pastor” kind of volunteer banquet. Rather, in inimitable Westside style, the church staff came together to provide an evening of food, entertainment, and games for over hundreds of volunteers under the theme of “Westside’s Got Talent LIVE!”. In lieu of baked chicken, attendees were rewarded with trail mix and ice cream.
Faith communities of all sizes, shapes and styles rely on volunteers to help accomplish the work of God’s kingdom. One of the blessings of serving at Westside is watching God masterfully bring together a diverse team of dedicated individuals and then celebrating their gifts, talents, and hard work. As people grow in their faith journey and discover unique ways of loving Jesus, sharing Jesus and becoming like Jesus, the opportunity and the need for volunteers grows as well. In the case of Westside, that means over 400 individuals who have identified their spiritual S.H.A.P.E. and are using it to serve others.
One of the most frequent complaints about large churches is that getting to know other people can be difficult. At Westside, we strive to remove that barrier by providing steps for people to engage in community and one of the best ways to build your “tribe” is by volunteering with others. My personal Westside journey began as a volunteer on the “First Impressions” team. Now, almost 15 years later, some of my most meaningful relationships and deepest connections to Westside are with people I met directing traffic, shoveling snow or running a video camera. Knowing you made a difference in someone’s life by volunteering is an incredible feeling—and the trail mix is an added bonus!
For more information on exploring volunteer opportunities at Westside or joining an existing team, check out www.westsidefamilychurch.com/volunteer-here/.