Why Service?

Reflection by Yonce Shelton, Executive Director, Catholic Volunteer Network

“Make sure your why can stand before God.” 

That challenge was offered recently by a young, passionate, visionary minister in a reflection that begin a discussion about how to effect social change. It summarized his point that leaders must be in touch with core motivations and long-term perspectives – not just strategies that address immediate needs.

For people of faith, that should speak to our personal relationship with God, and why our understanding of life equips us to take on struggles of how, who, where, and when.

This leader reminded me of my hopes for each of you – hopes that by understanding your why you will know how to serve now and in the future. My prayer is that you not only transform others, but that you are on a journey of transformation that cultivates your leadership. Whether you see yourself as a leader or not is irrelevant. If you enter places that expose you to the struggles and pains of the world, and if you do that with the desire to make a difference, you’ll have opportunities to lead.

I invite you to ask: How does my relationship with God impact that? Can I embrace such a path to leadership?

The world needs more leaders. But, we don’t always get to choose what is required of us. So it’s good to be in touch with why you committed to serve; with why you opened yourself to this one commitment on a long journey of many experiences. You have stepped into a vast expanse of hows. Trust that God will use you as both follower and leader. Know why.

Service offers moments that will affirm you, direct you, and challenge you. Take a moment now to remember why you chose to give. Take a moment to pray that you always hold the answer close.

You are my why. Thank you for offering many hows.

Yonce Shelton

Executive Director

Shared Visions is the result of a partnership between Catholic Volunteer Network and Catholic Apostolate Center.

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