Day in the life of a volunteer
Ever wondered what volunteering for Jesus Club looks like? Louise Gosbell shares with us a typical night at Jesus Club Rooty Hill.
"My name is Louise Gosbell and I am a coordinator at Jesus Club Rooty Hill. We started our club in July 2017 and we meet on a Thursday evening every fortnight. There are about 8 regular members and an equal number of leaders, so there is always plenty of attention to go around. :)"
"We have an amazing team of leaders at Rooty Hills, who have a great rapport with our members and they work hard to promote the ministry. We teach the members God's word by studying stories and passages of the Bible but also through demonstrating the gospel in the way we care, respect and value one another. Some of our members are from Christian families but others have had no previous experience of church at all."
"For us, Jesus Club is not something aimed 'at' or 'to' people with disability, but rather, we are people with and without disability doing life together."
"We pray for one another (not just the leaders praying for the members) and together we share in our highs and lows - the good things that happen and the things we are struggling with."
"The highlight of Jesus Club for me is seeing our members recall the Bible stories they have been taught. Just last meeting, a girl from our club recalled the story of the Good Samaritan in great details and completely wowed us with her recollection!
"The change in her from when she first started to now is so marked, it's been incredible to see her growth in that way! It is very rewarding to see our members have fun and hear them talk about what they learn from the Bible each fortnight."
"The other thing I love about Jesus Club is the honesty of our members. I love that they might say "I don't like your shirt!" (They can be very blunt.) But it also means that when they say "I love coming to Jesus Club", they genuinely mean it."
"Our members tell us they love coming to Jesus Club and feel loved, supported and valued. One of our members even puts up a Facebook message after EVERY Jesus Club meeting saying that Jesus Club is the best ministry ever and she loves being able to come and spend time with her friends. We are all really encouraged by that!"
"Right now, I am really looking forward to our end-of-year art show. It has been wonderful seeing the members get excited about making artworks for the show. They just love showcasing their skills and they just can't wait to see their artworks on display."
A Typical Night
5:45-6:30pm - Set up
We arrive and set up at MBM Rooty Hill
6:30-7.00pm - Games time
We have a board game that you have to take it in turns to join cards together to make snakes. It was donated by a member of our church and is very popular with our members. Recently we also started playing Bible Bingo which I downloaded from the web, which has been great fun too!
7.00-7:15pm - Music time
We have a member who, in consultation with me - selects music for us each week. She looks for videos of Christian worship songs on YouTube with the words on the screen, in particular, those with actions which have been popular with our members. We then play that on a large screen in our Jesus Club space and she together with one of our members, stand at the front and lead everyone in the singing and dancing.
7:15-7:30pm - Upfront teaching time
As with all the other clubs, we try and make this part of our night as engaging and interactive as possible. This term we have been doing the New Life lesson series to connect with our end of the year art show.
7:30-8:00pm - Buddy group time
Our members split into small groups for discussions and Bible studies (at the moment we have two groups - male and female - that has worked well for our particular members.) All of our members are able to manage a more in-depth study so our buddy group time is full of chatter and lots of great questions and comments.
Last week, we were all amazed when one of our members, who has always been very quiet and only recently started joining in with music and games, remembered the whole story of the good samaritan in great detail from a month earlier! She even said this at the end, 'We need to be people like the good samaritan and cares for people. Jesus wants us to do this to be like him. Jesus cares for us in the best way by dying on the cross for us so we can friends with God.' WOW!! It was just amazing to see how much she has grown in her engagement with, and understanding of the gospel! Finally, we share with each other our needs and finish up buddy time by praying together.
8.00-8:15pm - Craft time
At the moment we are spending longer on craft time than usual as we trial artworks for the art show.
8:15-8:30pm - Supper time
Even though our official finish time is 8:30, we are frequently still standing around chatting and eating supper with members at 8:45pm, with parents or carers waiting to round them up. We don't mind the late finish and love that our members are so eager to stay and chat and engage with everyone there!