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Volunteers’ Forum: Empowering Minds and a Call to Service

Volunteers at Sycamore

At the heart of the Sycamore Church community lies the dedication of volunteers, who come together to serve selflessly and contribute to church growth. One essential component of this volunteerism is the Volunteers’ Forum, a platform that has proven to be instrumental in shaping the journeys of workers within the church.

During a recent chat with Inioluwa Oyegbola and Korede Izobo, the impact of volunteering and the role of the Volunteers’ Forum unfolded.

Inioluwa, a digital marketing professional, shared her involvement with the Bible Engagement team, while Korede, a producer, gave us insight into the Production team. 

We kicked off by asking Korede and Inioluwa the job descriptions of their respective teams.

Can you tell us what you do in your volunteer team?

Inioluwa: “In the Bible Engagement team, we work to help members of our Church grow in the knowledge of the word of God and in discipleship through helpful materials and resources that we curate as a team.”

Korede: “In the Production team, we work hard. Facts.”

Other Production and Bible Engagement volunteers reading their teammates’ answers.

I genuinely thought those were some truly “ghen-ghennn” responses. Moving on, we decided to get reminiscent and probe into our guests’ earliest forays into volunteering. It was at this point that Inioluwa candidly confessed to having a hand in nearly every church activity during her formative years. 

Korede Izobo with the production team

Can you tell us about your earliest volunteering experiences in church?

Inioluwa: “I used to practically volunteer in anything in the Church I grew up attending. I volunteered to be the President of the Teens department, play the violin, sing, and dance (choreography qualifies as dance, please). I also volunteered to act so many times.”

Korede: “I used to volunteer to recite memory verses. I once crammed the whole of Psalms 91. And choreography, too, actually – I was Sister Prisca’s best student. I also starred in stage plays.”

When did you decide to start volunteering in Sycamore, and what inspired the decision?

Inioluwa: “I started volunteering in Sycamore in 2018, but I didn’t become serious until 2019. My first Life Group leader encouraged me to do it.”

Korede: “I think it was back in May 2022 that I started. And I think I was initially worried about Tolu in the Light team having to do such by himself every week. I wanted to help.”

We first considered Korede’s answer to be a very nice touch. But there was a twist waiting ahead. 

Host: That’s really sweet of you, being your brother’s keeper and all of that.

Korede: “I don’t know about that, ’cause it’s been over a year and Tolu is still doing the work himself. I had to leave him. That brother almost used work to wound Man of God.”

Host: Hahaha, I’ll take that back, then.

Regarding volunteering in Sycamore, how has the journey been so far?

Inioluwa: “It has been quite rewarding. Being a volunteer filled me with a sense of ownership and responsibility for the move of God on the earth. It’s so satisfying to know that God desires for me to partner with Him to build His Kingdom. I’m honored.”

Korede: “I eventually joined the video team, and, you know what, it has been rewarding.”

Inioluwa, this is so heartfelt. Was this a reality that you grew into over time, or has it been this way right from the get-go?

Inioluwa: “Ah, I had to grow into it ooo.”

Inioluwa Oyegbola engages with other volunters

Has the Volunteers’ Forum impacted your journey as a volunteer so far?

Inioluwa: “Absolutely. A lot of the sense of responsibility and ownership that I grew into was instilled through the Volunteers’ Forum. They were things I heard again and again. The more I heard about it, the more sense it made to me.”

Korede: “Definitely. Volunteers’ Forum is one of the reasons I’ve been able to stay this long.”

Ini, please can you highlight some things that really really struck you?

Inioluwa: “Things like having Mary’s hearts and Martha’s hands, i.e. the positions of my heart and the actions of my hands while serving.”

So profound, Inioluwa. Korede, please can you shed more light on how Volunteers’ Forum has helped you? 

Korede: “First, there’s the personal responsibility that is always emphasized. Your work for God isn’t necessarily the same as your work with God. It made me understand that my quiet times and prayer sessions are even more important than my church work. 

Then there’s the understanding of volunteering itself as not an enforced role, but an extension of grace. God has given us an opportunity to partner with him and build his kingdom here on earth together. It’s not work, it’s grace. 

I think those are two of the many teachings that struck me from our forums. It’s always great to listen again and again.”

Host: Wow, Korede, that was really insightful. Thank you very much.

Do you typically look forward to Volunteers’ Forum?

Korede: “Very much so, yes. I look forward to the teachings. And possibly an opportunity for pain points in our work to be aired.”

Inioluwa: “I do! I look forward to the refreshments👀🌚 . But generally, it’s always so relaxing and fun; unwinding and learning at the same time!”

As the interview drew to a close, Inioluwa and Korede shared how volunteering within the church had impacted their personal and professional lives.

Can you share how volunteering and the Volunteers’ Forum specifically, have influenced you beyond Church?

Inioluwa: “The lessons I’ve learned during Volunteers’ Forum have helped me grow in my work and academics. Firstly, the sense of ownership and responsibility is always at the forefront of my mind each time I have to take on a duty. Secondly, I apply the heart and hands lessons whenever I grow weary with my secular responsibilities”

Korede: “Volunteers’ Forum has helped me value commitment and understand it to a larger extent. I also better understand the need for structure in my everyday life. I am a better leader. Partnering with God has also helped strengthen my personal relationship with him.”

It’s always great to hear when people are able to apply principles picked up from church to their secular responsibilities. To conclude our interview, Inioluwa and Korede envisioned the future of their volunteering walk in Church and contemplated the role of the Volunteers’ Forum in that walk. 

To wrap up, can you paint us a picture of what your volunteering experience would look like moving forward? 

Inioluwa: “For me, presently, and also moving forward, I think I wouldn’t necessarily have to be forced to do any work. It just flows, or it will flow, from a deep sense of honor and ownership. Volunteers’ Forum could help with practical tips on how to navigate challenges such as burnout, conflict, etc that we may face as volunteers. 

Korede: “Following God’s instruction to volunteer has given me fulfilment that has extended to other areas of my life, and I have every reason to believe the experience will remain that way moving forward.”

It’s safe to say that this conversation has offered us a glimpse into the vibrant world of volunteering at Sycamore Church. 

The way I see it, the idea of Volunteers Forum is to stand as a beacon of wisdom, empowering volunteers to navigate their journeys with grace, faith, and a deep commitment to building God’s Kingdom. With that in mind, it was wonderful to find out how the forum has helped real people like Inioluwa and Korede find purpose, community, and personal growth through selfless service.

Victor Anih volunteers with the Content Team at Sycamore Church

(Blogposts are creative expressions generously provided for Sycamore Church. The ideas and thoughts do not necessarily represent the position of Sycamore Church)

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