What are the benefits of volunteering on an Alpha Team?
Sometimes finding volunteers feels like hunting season, where friendly churchgoers suddenly vanish as you approach them, sensing they will be roped and saddled for life. No one likes to be "volun-told" so how do you inspire people to join your team without bribing, begging or guilt trips? What do you say when they ask, "What's in it for me?" Here are a few benefits for volunteers to consider:
1. You’ll be happier and healthier.
Volunteering that is fun and fulfilling can actually be good for your health. When you help out with a cause that you believe in, it can relax and energize you, reduce anxiety, strengthen your immune system, and improve your mood. “Volunteering also provides you with renewed creativity, motivation, and vision that can carry over into your personal and professional life.” (Harvard Health Publication)
2. You’ll make new friends.
Volunteering connects people who care about the same issues. It’s an easy way to socialize and a fun way to meet new people. Alpha teams bring together people from diverse backgrounds and provide an atmosphere of unity, collaboration and teamwork. Many teams begin hanging out together outside of Alpha and form new groups to go hiking, camping, curling or do Life Groups together.
3. You’ll be serving your community.
Alpha is one of the few church programs for people in the community. While we fully support Bible studies, prayer meetings and home groups, Alpha invites nonchurchgoers to connect with other seekers, learn about the Christian faith and have an honest conversation about it. It’s a holistic approach that ministers to their body, soul and spirit. It tells people in your community that you’re a welcoming, giving, helping church.
4. Your spiritual life and faith in God will grow.
As part of an Alpha team, you have the privilege of listening to the Alpha talks over and over again – and most likely you’ll laugh at the same jokes even though you’ve heard them numerous times before. You might learn more about God’s grace, more about your lack of compassion, more about God’s patience, and more about your dependence on the Holy Spirit.
5. You can learn a new skill that will enhance your career.
There are many roles on an Alpha team and you may be interested in a particular area that you’ve always wanted to learn about. If you have an interest in audio-visual, you can be mentored by techno-experts in the field. If you’ve always wanted to cook, helping in the kitchen can provide you with invaluable experience. If you have the gift of leadership, consider being a small group helper. And don’t forget to add your volunteer work to your resume!
6. You will boost your social skills and self-confidence.
While personal growth is not a primary reason to volunteer, it is a very helpful bonus! Few environments provide a safe, non-threatening atmosphere to practice relationship skills but Alpha does just that. People who are shy and feel awkward find that Alpha is the perfect place to have a leisurely conversation over a scrumptious meal and share life together each week. As a volunteer, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment and belonging which boosts your self-esteem and is reflected in what you say and do.
7. You’ll make a difference in someone’s life.
Just by showing up to Alpha each week, you’re making an impact. Your support and commitment tells people that they matter; they’re worth the time and effort. Listening to what people have to say during mealtime and small group sends the message that you value their opinion. Over the course of Alpha, guests begin to feel like they belong and are cared for, and many come to faith in Jesus. We hear countless stories of people experiencing God in fresh and healing ways at Alpha, and that is one of the best reasons to volunteer on an Alpha team!
In 2018, Matures (40%) and Baby Boomers (31%) were more likely than iGen/Gen Z (18%)* to be top volunteers, spending 132 hours or more on volunteer activities.
In 2018, almost 22.7 million people volunteered informally – accounting for 74% of Canadians aged 15 and older.
They devoted roughly 3.4 billion hours to their volunteer activities, a volume of work that represents approximately 1.8 million full-time year-round job equivalents.
* iGen/Gen Z: 1996 and up / Millennials: 1981 to 1995 / Gen X: 1966 to 1980 / Baby Boomers: 1946 to 1965 / Matures: 1918 to 1945 (Stats Canada)