Not Active In Your Community? Ways You Are Missing Out

Unless you are residing in a far-flung and isolated island, you are surely a part of a community. You can create your own little world in the privacy of your abode, but it will not exempt you from the rules and regulations set by society. Whether you like it or not what happens to society affects you. And it may not seem so obvious, but in some way, everything you do affects society as well. The truth is that society plays a huge role in your choices and decisions. Sometimes it can even define the lifestyle you lead.

Since it is quite impossible to separate ourselves from society, you are likely to benefit from being an active community member. While no one can persecute you if you wish to detach yourself from everything that is happening around you, remember that by being oblivious about your community, you are missing out on a lot. Listed below are reasons why you should be active in your community.

You are wasting a chance to create wonderful relationships.

Do you want to meet new people and widen your social circle? You can scour the list of events in your community and inquire on how you can participate. It is a great way to have fun and at the same time meet folks who share your interest and passions. Who knows? You may create lifelong friendships because of it.

You miss opportunities to flaunt your skills.

Do you have a talent or skill to share? Your local community may be the perfect place to hone it. You can hold a workshop if you are an artist or volunteer to cook a hearty dish if you are a good chef. As the city hall organizes various events, you are likely to find something where you can display whatever talent or skill you may have.  

You are giving up your chance to be an influencer.

As an ordinary citizen you may feel powerless regarding implementation and amendments of policies in your local community. This may change once you decide to check out your town hall’s office. City council meetings are generally open to all (except for some meetings which are closed to the public), so you can listen and observe as officials assess and deliberate a certain policy proposal. In some cities you can even share your opinion and ask questions during a city council meeting. Attending these meetings will increase your knowledge about issues affecting your community and at the same time you get the chance to influence a lawmaker’s decision.

You are not boosting your self-esteem.

Even in a small way, being able to help or contribute in the community will give you a sense of purpose. This is such a great way to boost your confidence because you are also taking small steps to improve the society you live in. So if ever you feel inadequate or incompetent, you may want to spend some time doing community service. You may just give yourself a healthy dose of self esteem in no time.

If the amazing benefits listed above sparked your interest to engage in community activities, then what are you waiting for? Make good use of your time by finding out how you can make significant contributions to your local community today!

Jim and Bobbie PuryearNot Active In Your Community? Ways You Are Missing Out
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Unexpected Benefits You Get From Active Community Involvement

Community service may sound like hard work and some may even see it as a form of punishment. Yet undeniably, once you realize the positive impact that your action can do to society, it can also be one of the most fulfilling and enriching experiences. Since you do it primarily to help others or give back, it is easy to assume that all the benefits solely pour on the side of society while you get nothing out of it.

It might then come as a surprise that community involvement can offer a multitude of wonderful rewards that can tremendously enhance your life. If you are yet to take an active role in community service, the following unexpected benefits you can get from doing it may just provide the motivation you need:

Improves Physical Health & Well-being

It may not seem so obvious but active community involvement can bring tons of health benefits. Some volunteer work can be tiring but it provides a form of exercise that can reduce stress levels and prevent many diseases. Furthermore, to know that your effort, no matter how small, can greatly contribute to the betterment of the community can be a source of pride and achievement. This wonderful sense of accomplishment results in a happier disposition which in turn leads to better health. The conclusion of years of research done by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) indicate that volunteer activities have a positive correlation with lower chances for depression and lower mortality rates.

Widens Your Skills & Knowledge

The need for continuous learning is essential if you want to move forward in life. Fortunately, altruistic activities can be an avenue for free education. Some organizations provide volunteers with training so you get to increase awareness and knowledge on a certain cause and may also acquire new skills in the process. You may also discover a good way to share your talents with the community if you offer help for a certain cause that is related to your interests.

Builds Up Your Resume

Students who choose to devote their free time to community activities increases their chance to land a high-paying job later on. Moreover, affiliations in reputable organizations is a clever way to beef-up your resume when you are a fresh graduate with no past employment. The claim that community involvement makes you more attractive to employers is backed up by research. In 2009, a UK-based organization, TimeBack, formed a partnership with Reed, a recruitment agency, to conduct a survey on how employers view charitable activities. The study revealed that 84% think charitable activities help job seekers get hired. Likewise, more than 70% of employers believe that that volunteer experience increases the chance for promotion and salary increase.

May Open Up Travel Opportunities

You only want to offer whatever assistance you can give to a cause but you may end up going places and experiencing new things as well. Travel privileges is indeed a possibility if you are really committed to offer your services. At the same time, the opportunity to be in a new environment and meet new people can broaden your mind and perspective on things.

Grow Your Network of Friends

Getting out there and immersing yourself in the community is an effective way to meet people who share your same interests and passion. They say, true friends are hard to find – but you may not find it so difficult if you regularly participate in community outreach activities.

We are all a vital part of the society we live in so in a way, we are all required to contribute something for the betterment of the community. This responsibility may sound challenging but participating in community activities is a win-win situation – the society benefits and you get rewarded as well.

Jim and Bobbie PuryearUnexpected Benefits You Get From Active Community Involvement
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Four Faith-Building Testimonies to Share with Others

Belief is delicate and life is tough. Even the most seasoned followers endure trials and tribulations that test their faith. In those moments of uncertainty, it’s beneficial to have a support system to aid in the process of rebuilding that faith. If you are blessed with opportunity to counsel someone through the most vulnerable point of his/her walk, these 4 testimonies can help.

  1. Share a Testimony About Your Biggest Obstacle. Explain How Faith Helped You Overcome It.

Offering an anecdote about your biggest life challenge creates common ground. It’s important to let others know that even you, the person they look to as a strong pillar of faith, went through (what felt like) an unbearable situation. You were delivered from it, and came out stronger than when you went in. This type of testimony creates understanding and works toward canceling the feeling of isolation and guilt that your mentee may feel. By specifically stating how faith played a role in your triumph, you illustrate the necessity of its role in problem solving and endurance.

  1. Answer the Question: Who Helped Build Your Faith?

By nature, people are social. We learn by seeking guidance from people who are already skilled in the areas that we aspire to excel in. Discussions with others help us navigate through our thinking and processing. Leaders also share teachable lessons on best practices. Similarly, these interpersonal benefits ring true in faith-based scenarios. God created us to be interdependent. For most of us, there was someone who helped answer our questions, point us to the most applicable Bible verses, and to hold us accountable. Whether that was your pastor, a friend, or someone in your family, that person played a vital role in building the base of our faith. Try sharing a testimony about the spiritual leader who did that for you. Make sure to include the biggest takeaways you gleaned from his/her counsel.

  1. Answer the Question: When Was Your Faith at Its Lowest? How Did You Recover?

This will undoubtedly be a vulnerable exchange. As Christians, we often feel a certain level of shame or regret about the situation that caused us the greatest level of doubt. Nevertheless, it was a critical life moment that, once it passed, provided a lot of clarity in your Christian faith. Sometimes when you begin to doubt the very thing that used to help you keep going, it can feel like you’ll never come out on the other side. This is why it’s meaningful to share an account of the feelings you personally experienced when you were in the midst of your lowest lows. It’s comforting to know that other believers prevailed in spite of their setbacks. Focus on explaining why your faith decreased in that scenario and the steps you took to rebuild your assurance. Lastly, expound on what currently prevents you from returning to the mind state you were previously in.

  1. Share a Testimony Detailing the Ways That Strong Faith Has Changed Your Life for the Better.

Finally arriving in a place where your level of faith is the best it’s ever been, is a wonderful feeling. Having the confidence of being able to fully trust God and cast all your fears and problems on Him is freeing. That freedom comes with daily benefits. Maybe increased faith has helped heal your marriage or given you greater mental health. Maybe your high level of faith changed your perspective on life. Think about the day-to-day benefits that make you grateful for reaching the level of faith that you currently enjoy. Share those victories with your brothers and sisters in Christ. Your joy-filled spirit will be infections and make others eager to attain the same for themselves.

Other Interventions That May Help

If you are struggling to think of impactful testimonies that will be helpful, don’t fret, there are plenty of other avenues that lead to the same result. Below are a few faith-building suggestions that you can pass on:

  • Bible study
  • Support groups
  • Seeking prayer for renewed faith
  • Center friend groups around people who have reached the faith-level you desire
  • Seek pastoral guidance

Faith is the backbone of Christianity, yet most believers will struggle with faith at least once during their journey. Sometimes life knocks us down and it feels impossible to get up. However, we don’t have to bear our burdens alone. We are charged with the responsibility of lifting up our brothers and sisters when they cannot stand for themselves. Witnessing through testimony is a surefire way to stand in the gap for those among us who need encouragement in strengthening their faith.

Jim and Bobbie PuryearFour Faith-Building Testimonies to Share with Others
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Life Lessons I Learned From Coaching Youth Sports

Youth sports coaches come from a variety of different sports backgrounds, with various levels of knowledge within their game of choice. When signing up for the role, all coaches are aware of the effect they may have on each individual child athlete’s development. From physical skill, to work ethic, to sportsmanship, many of these attributes fall into the hands of the coach. But what about the effect that coaching has on the adult coach themselves? The benefits of coaching youth sports go beyond getting involved within your community and enjoying consistent exercise. The benefits I received from coaching have forever changed my life, and how I live each day.

Here are five life lessons that I learned from being a youth sports coach:

Keep Life In Perspective

Coaching allows you the opportunity to work with children from a variety of different upbringings and backgrounds. Some of the players come from very low-income families, while others may live lavishly. Because of this, I am always grateful for all that I have and remind myself how fortunate I am every day. However, when the players run out to the field, all differences are thrown aside and they are there to play the game. It is important to remember that is just a game. It doesn’t matter whether you win or lose. What does matter is that you enjoy playing the sport and that you find a value in current experiences balanced with the value of future opportunities– even when that includes a loss. In life off the field, I’ve learned that you must maintain the same perspective of value from experience as well as keeping balance so you don’t get consumed by one thing.

The Value Of A Good Hustle And Hard Work

You know the saying, “Good things come to those who hustle,” I would like to revise it to say, “Good things come to those who hustle and work hard.” The two go together. If you hustle that means you are going 100% all the way through. Combine that with the attributes of hard work such as, time, discipline, and commitment and you will see achieve your goals or even surpass them. Take baseball for example, when at bat, you don’t want to just reach first base, you want to run with everything you’ve got and go through the base. Whether your goals are sports-related, personal, or professional, the same idea applies. I’ve also found that when faced with an obstacle, you must exhibit the same hard work and 100% effort, to push through the challenge and persevere in order continue moving forward.

Be Ready For Anything At Anytime

As a coach, you must be ready and able to quickly adapt to always changing situations. Say a player gets injured during the game or the opposing team is continuously beating your defensive scheme. Using quick, flexible thinking, you need to present a new idea or solution. Outside the sports arena, you will be presented with new opportunities at any time, in relation to work, personal, community-driven, or even faith-related possibilities. When one door opens you don’t want to be skipped over because you are not prepared. If you are open minded and ready to step up when called upon, then you will feel confident to jump at any chance that you are presented with.

Play with Character And Integrity

Being a good teammate means that you respect and support your fellow teammates, opponents, and coaches. A coach’s responsibility in promoting respect amongst players helps build each player’s overall character and helps them recognize to play with integrity. To do this, a coach must first and foremost be the example—exhibit sportsmanship, keep your emotions in check and display humility. Sportsmanship, composure and being humble all lay the foundation of a player’s character. Integrity goes beyond playing fairly regarding rules, it also includes playing honestly towards teammates. This is done by putting forth 100% in your play, support, and morale, not only for yourself but also for your fellow players. Playing with character and integrity spills over into your dynamic in relationships in general. You create relationships based on attractive qualities in someone’s character and maintain them with integrity between both people.

The Process And People Matter The Most

When you look back at your own experience in childhood sports, you most likely don’t remember the number of wins and losses you had, but you do remember the journey and the people that contributed along the way. As a coach, it’s your job to teach the fundamentals of the sport so that players understand fully how to play. You teach them how to overcome obstacles, how to dribble a ball, how to communicate, and how to hit a home run to achieve a common goal. It is important to recognize the moving pieces and people in other aspects of life; the lessons learned along the way and how they have contributed to where you are today. The act of serving others and its importance can be learned from this experience. Try to be a part of other’s processes and journeys and make a positive difference in who they are as a person.

Learning from life experiences is one of the best tools of education available to us. By coaching youth sports in the community, you are invested in making a difference in the lives of your young athletes. Little did I know, as a coach, that I would, in turn, see a difference in my life and learn so many positive life lessons.

Jim and Bobbie PuryearLife Lessons I Learned From Coaching Youth Sports
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3 Reasons to Adopt a Community Mentality

You can go far in life with self-motivation, drive, and the determination to create a successful life for yourself. However, you can go even farther if you have a community of people supporting you and encouraging you along the way because the strongest, boldest, and most successful you can be is always when the people you surround your life with are strong, bold, and successful too. It’s so important to go through life with a team-oriented mindset, so you have people you can trust and rely on when things get tough. Here are 3 reasons you should adopt a community mentality.

A community mentality increases a sense of membership in your life

If you make an effort to create a sense of community in every area of your life, you will also create a sense of belonging. As humans, we naturally crave acceptance in a group and security in our relationships. Establishing a community built on trust and respect establishes a sense of membership and feeling of belonging in your life.

A community mentality creates a source of influence

Further, establishing a sense of community within your relationships also makes it easier to cultivate an environment for a source of influence to flow. Being around like-minded and motivated people creates an environment for positive ideas to bounce off each other. Further, the community gives each member a sense of mattering just as its members give the community a mission and an importance. And this sense of importance is only possible because of the influence members have on each other and on the community as a whole.

A community mentality fulfills human needs

A community of people is often initially brought together because of their shared interests, values, and goals. In doing so, communities also relate over their shared experiences and the memories they have together. These experiences and shared memories form a lasting bond and emotional connection between the members of the community. And this kind of emotional connection is exactly what brings a community’s members together during a tragedy and forms an unbreakable bond for a lifetime.

So while you might create a successful life for yourself with your own self-motivation and drive, your life won’t reach the same level of fulfillment unless it’s rich with personal connection and values a community mentality.

Jim and Bobbie Puryear3 Reasons to Adopt a Community Mentality
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How to Serve Others When You Can’t Find the Time

The most common misconception people have when it comes to giving back to others is that there is never enough time in a day to get everything checked off your to-do list, take care of yourself and your family, and still have enough time to give back to the community. The truth is, however, that giving back to the community doesn’t have to be a time-consuming activity. While offering your time to serving others is no doubt one of the most effective ways to help those in need, it is not the only way. Read on to find out just how you can give back to your community when your life gets too busy and you just can’t find the time.

Smile

They say, “a smile speaks a thousand words,” and they aren’t wrong.  A smile is such a simple and easy gesture, but you’ll never know how much it can turn someone’s day around. Smiling is more than just a facial expression. It communicates your attitude and your intention to spread your positive mindset to others. Trust us on this one––your smile holds the magic to change someone else’s day for the better, and that is a great way to serve others. 

Brown bag it

Next time you run to the store, pick up a few more items to pack for a brown-bag lunch or any kind of care package you can carry around with you in the car. Think peanut-butter and jelly sandwiches, protein bars, snack bags, deodorant sticks, toothbrushes, etc. Anything you can think of that can easily be transported around until you run into someone in need. This simple service doesn’t require you to devote hours of your time, but can make the world of a difference for someone in need.

Make service a part of your business culture

Partner with a cause that your business can get involved with to offer talent, products, or financial support. Organize a company-wide service day where your company volunteers a day to serve others in your community. This is an easy way to make a service a part of your everyday life and makes worlds of change in the community around you.

Support causes that support others

Whenever possible, buy your products from companies that donate a percentage of what you spend to a specific charity, cause, or mission. In doing so, you still get exactly what you need and you help others in the process.

Try any of these four tips to make a difference in your community––even if you don’t think you have the time. We know life can seem packed with busy schedules and unchecked to-do lists, but we promise you’ll have time for these easy ways to serve others.

Jim and Bobbie PuryearHow to Serve Others When You Can’t Find the Time
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Give Back This 4th of July

Independence day isn’t just about fireworks and picnics. It’s also a golden opportunity to take a moment and appreciate our independence and freedom. The best way to honor our freedom is to give back to those who sacrifice every day to protect us. Here are a few suggestions to help you give back this 4th of July.

Write a Thank You Letter to a Soldier

Even if you don’t personally know anyone serving in the military, you can still write a letter thanking a soldier for their service. Any Soldier is an excellent resource to find out where to send, what to send, and how to send a card or care packages our soldiers. Ask your family, kids, friends, neighbors, or coworkers to write a card as well. Troops have dedicated their lives so we can live in freedom, so don’t forget to honor them this weekend.

Help Out a Military Family

Soldiers aren’t the only ones who sacrifice for our country. The families of soldiers sacrifice as well, so let them know that you are also thinking about them. Take a moment to thank them and their loved one, and offer words of encouragement. Take it a step further by offering to babysit, mow their lawn, or make them a special Fourth of July dessert. Small actions carry big meanings.

Honor Local Veterans

Veterans have spent their lives serving our country, so it’s our duty to say thank you. Visit your local nursing home, veteran’s organization, or senior center and talk with a veteran. Remember to say thank you for their service, but also ask them about their lives. Many elderly veterans need some companionship and by making some time can mean the world to them.

You can also make a visit to a memorial. Honor their life and service by leaving flowers, notes, or a flag. If you have children, take a moment to teach them about the significance of the memorial.

What are some ways that you plan to give back this 4th of July?

Jim and Bobbie PuryearGive Back This 4th of July
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Easy Ways to Get Everyone More Involved in Your Community

When people know and interact with each other, things get done, people have fun, and communities thrive. But, most times, it’s hard to get people involved in the community because no one likes stepping up to the plate to raise money, organize events, or just simply get people together to have some fun. Believe it or not, getting people involved doesn’t have to be the most daunting thing you’ll do today.

Here are some of the easiest and fool-proof ways to get people more involved in your community.

Start social media groups

Getting people involved is all about convenience. Everyone has packed schedules and busy lives; it can be hard to work around these schedules to make time for meeting other people and becoming more involved. But in the world we live in, social media is arguably the most convenient way to contact people and get them together. It’s also the easiest, fastest, and most effective way too. Consider making a social media group for your community where people can post questions, news updates, alerts, or even make plans, so people can be in contact at any time and in any place.

Organize social events

Plan a potluck dinner or invite people to a summer afternoon cookout. Maybe set up a horseshoe tournament. Whatever it is, make sure it doesn’t just sound fun – make sure it actually is. So, plan engaging activities that are appropriate for every age group that will be in attendance. When preparing for your event, designate people to certain tasks, so that people feel included and everyone works together to make it a success.

Organize fundraising events

Get people excited to raise money for a certain cause. The money can go towards a specific philanthropy, directly to the needs of your community, or maybe to fund the yearly party for everyone to attend at the neighborhood clubhouse. Whatever it is, make sure people are passionate and excited about the cause. Organizing and participating in fundraising events gets people together and establishes a shared purpose for those in your community.

Set up volunteer opportunities

Whether it’s helping to plant a new garden, working at a soup kitchen, or volunteering a few hours at the animal shelter, send out announcements promoting these opportunities. Encourage people to commit an hour or two out of their weekend to working together to improve the neighborhood you live in. In doing so, everyone will get to know each other better, and it will promote a shared sense of community as well.

Being a part of a community is something to take pride in. Your community encompasses all the people, places, and surroundings that make up every single day of your life. Give back to the community as much as it gives you every day, and you will live in a much happier place!

Jim and Bobbie PuryearEasy Ways to Get Everyone More Involved in Your Community
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