A new study found that most Christians say they want to serve others, but much fewer actually do.
The study, conducted by Lifeway Research, found that 84 percent of respondents said their churches encourage every adult to serve people outside their church. However, when asked if they had volunteered in or our of the church in the previous year, only 30 percent of respondents said they had.
This gap between desire and action is particularly pronounced among the 18-34 year old demographic. While 91 percent of young adults say they want to serve people in their community, only 23 percent actually volunteered in 2022, according to the study.
So what’s the deal? Why do so many people not follow through with volunteering?
There are a number of possible explanations. One possibility is that people simply don’t have the time. Between work, school, and family commitments, it can be difficult to find time to volunteer. Another possibility is that people don’t know where to volunteer. There are many different organizations that need volunteers, but it can be difficult to know where to start.
“The easiest way to serve others is when a charity or group organizes the effort,” said Scott McConnell, executive director of Lifeway Research. “They recognize the need, come up with a plan and often gather needed resources. You just have to show up.”
And finally, it’s possible that people simply don’t feel motivated to volunteer. They may not see the value in volunteering, or they may not think their time is valuable enough to give away.
“Service is contagious. When you are regularly participating in the life of your church, people you get to know will ask you to serve with them,” McConnell said. “Doing good things with friends is enjoyable and easier to find time to do.”