Faith-Outcomes for Older Adult Volunteers in Religious Congregations
Social Work & Christianity
A research study surveyed 539 older volunteers from congregations who were actively involved in community service, as well as 430 older congregational attenders who were not involved in volunteer service, to understand the relationship between volunteering and faith development in later life. Findings show that older adult volunteers report higher levels of faith maturity, faith practices, life satisfaction, and motivation to serve than their non-volunteering counterparts. Accounting for barriers to volunteering such as health, transportation, caregiving, and work responsibilities did not significantly affect the faith and volunteer relationship. These findings have important implications for how religious educators and congregational social workers can nurture the life of faith of older volunteers through meaningful community ministry experiences.
Congregation, older persons, religious faith, social work, volunteers
Myers, Dennis R.; Wolfer, Terry A.; and Sherr, Michael E., "Faith-Outcomes for Older Adult Volunteers in Religious Congregations" (2013). Social Work Faculty Publications. 26.