Beyond The Walls

AFBC Staff

Everybody can be great, because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and your verbs agree to serve…You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love. Martin Luther King  

Serving is not a new concept. This message is taught repeatedly in the Scriptures. Peter tells us in 1 Peter 4:10, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.”

Albuquerque’s First Baptist Church takes serving seriously. Pastor Michael M. Cook often reminds the congregation of what we refer to as The Big Three: worship, participation in small groups and serving.

Aside from the biblical reasons for volunteering, here are four great reasons to volunteer in the community.

  1. Growth
    By volunteering with an ongoing program, volunteers see growth and change. Whether working with children who are learning to read or adults who are developing trust with their peers, volunteers can actually watch growth among their clients over time. This reinforces the volunteer’s own sense of worthiness and vitality in the program.

    2. Enrichment
    There’s nothing more fulfilling than realizing how much of an impact a volunteer can make. Volunteers working together to build a children’s playground or low-cost housing for needy families can later visit these sites and see how the project has enriched the neighborhood. Just a few hours of helping can turn into a lifetime of opportunity, which is one of the greatest benefits of volunteering.

    3. Learning
    Volunteer opportunities often allow people to try new activities or learn new skills. For example, when an accountant volunteers to help cook a holiday dinner at a homeless shelter, he walks away with not only a few cooking tips, but also knowledge of how to keep food at a safe temperature and how to serve large groups.

    4. Friendships
    When like-minded people get together, friendships are formed. After working on a volunteer project for a few weeks, it’s not uncommon for volunteers to exchange phone numbers or social media information. By giving just a few hours a week, lifetime friendships may be established.

Serving is not just important within the walls of the church but beyond the walls as well. There will be displays on the AFBC concourse Sunday January 24th and you will have an opportunity to speak first hand with representatives from faith-based organizations that are always looking for volunteers. Ask questions. Learn about ways that you can impact lives beyond the walls of our church.

Sharing information about volunteer opportunities will be representatives from:  The Gideons, Habitat for Humanity, Love, Inc., Baptist Convention of New Mexico, The Rock at NoonDay, Ronald McDonald House, and CareNet.

Join us on Sunday, January 24th and explore these opportunities.

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” Isaiah 6:8








Beyond the Walls

By AFBC Staff

Volunteering is not only good for others, it’s good for you. Giving back helps mood, mobility and relieves stress. Research shows that people who volunteer report lower mortality rates, lower rates of depression, fewer physical limitations and lower levels of stress than those who don’t volunteer, says Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service. The health benefits are huge.

More importantly giving back makes an impact in the kingdom of God.

Albuquerque’s First Baptist Church takes giving back seriously. Pastor Michael M. Cook often reminds the congregation of what we refer to as The Big Three: worship, participation in small groups and serving.

Serving is not just important within the walls of the church but beyond the walls as well. The displays on the AFBC concourse Sunday January 25th were evidence of the church’s commitment to that philosophy.

Sharing information about volunteer opportunities were representatives from: Albuquerque BioPark, AmberCare, Animal Humane, Casa Esperanza, Gideons, Habitat for Humanity, Hope Christian School, The Rock at NoonDay, Respite Care, Special Spaces, Wings Ministry, Presbyterian Hospital and CareNet.

“I was intentional about providing a diverse range of organizations and opportunities,” said AFBC staff member Susan Rasinski. Susan was responsible for coordinating the Beyond the Walls event. “One of our goals was to expose church members to service possibilities in the community. The event was designed to be a win/win for everyone. I believe we accomplished our goal.”

Gary and Rhonda Warner recently joined the fellowship at AFBC. Participating in the Discover First class for potential new members, they heard first hand from Pastor Kevin Linthicum about our emphasis on serving. Relatively new to Albuquerque, they are looking for ways to get involved in both the church and the community. They found several opportunities that interested them. Talking to the organization’s representatives helped them to understand the needs of the organization. Gary signed up to get more information from several of the exhibitors.

What about you? What interests you?

There are more volunteer opportunities in our world than ever before. Here are a few positions that our members are involved in.

Joyce Brantley, Margie Gill, Billie Jordan, Lucille Stevens and Bill Robinson are readers at Petroglyph Elementary. One afternoon a week they go to the school and listen to children in Ms. Nancy’s kindergarten class read aloud.

Several of our members volunteer for the Rock at NoonDay. One day a month AFBC members come to the office and prepare the NoonDay mailing. Jim and Pat French, Jerry Bell, Steve Guerrero and Tom and Ginny Caizza are just a few that serve in that way.

Carlene Caruthers is a volunteer for Rust Medical Center. Those of you who know Ms. Carlene know what a bright cheerful presence she has. She welcomes people to the hospital with her dazzling smile.

Maybe you’re not sure how to find a volunteer position that fits you. Here are a few suggestions.

  • Find an activity that you’re passionate about. If you like kids volunteer to help children. Love books? The public library needs you. Enjoy building? Habitat for Humanity may be the perfect place.
  • Look for activities that fit your schedule. Do you have an extra day off each week? A morning or afternoon free. Some volunteer activities can be done from your very own home.
  • Make it a family or friend event. Ask a friend or family members to volunteer with you. Serving together makes it more fun.
  • Realize it’s never too late. We have more senior volunteers than ever before. Don’t let your age be a deterrent.
  • You’re never too young. There are lots of volunteer opportunities for teens and some of them can lead to paid jobs or even exciting careers.

Why not make this year the year that you reach beyond the walls and invest in the kingdom of God by giving of yourself and your time to make a difference in our community?