Many of us are seeking to make a difference in the world (or in eternity) beyond our careers. Jesus told us that it was better to serve than to be served; many are living out that principle through a wide range of volunteer service opportunities.
In our Decision Driven® Life pattern, we have included a “Service Opportunities” decision under the Life Vocation branch. This decision is a sibling of Career, given that it competes for our time and energy.
I have framed this decision as “What volunteer service opportunities should I pursue?”. Because many of us will volunteer in multiple ways, your life decision model may fan out at this point. This suggests an important child decision for each branch (for each volunteer service opportunity that you commit to). I have framed the “Volunteer Role” decision as “What role will I play in providing this volunteer service?”.
Our time is precious and it’s easy to spread ourselves too thin and have little lasting impact. Therefore I recommend that you work through the Service Opportunities decision periodically by considering the following criteria:
If you have a servant’s heart, then you will want to serve where real, tangible needs are being met. You’ll want the opportunity to match your life vision. You will be most effective if you volunteer where your unique talents and skills can be leveraged. Lasting change typically takes sustained service, so you might want to avoid occasional or intermittent bursts of service (in response to emotionally charged appeals) in favor of longer-term projects.