The ICR Discovery Center for Science & Earth History has welcomed thousands of guests since its September 2 Grand Opening. Word is spreading through social media, radio, print ads, and (most effectively) by word of mouth. Every week, school groups, churches, families, and others enjoy learning through high-tech exhibits, stunning planetarium shows, and live science presentations how science confirms the Bible.
Given our limited budget, how do we offer the growing number of visitors such a positive, faith-building experience? We couldn’t do it without the volunteers who fill over half of the Discovery Center’s staffing needs. Their donation of time and talents enables us to keep things running smoothly and provides a personal touch to the Discovery Center experience. ICR Volunteer Coordinator Lauren Pennington said, “Volunteers are, in a lot of ways, the face of the Discovery Center. They’re the ones that people interact with the most during their time here.”
Ryan, an Army veteran, serves regularly as a docent in the exhibit hall. He grew up with some awareness of ICR resources, but after completing his military service he returned to civilian life searching for answers to his questions about faith and science. Reading Acts & Facts over the following years helped him see how science and the Bible are in harmony. When he heard the Discovery Center needed volunteers, he said, “I saw the opportunity to give back to the organization that really helped sustain me and feed my soul. I’ve been volunteering every week since it opened.”
Marci retired this past year and was looking for a meaningful way to spend her time. Knowing ICR’s emphasis on trusting God’s Word in a culture of doubt, she immediately filled out the volunteer application. She said, “With time on my hands, it gives me great joy to do something like this—it enables me to expand my sphere of people I know but still stay within the same community of faith.” When asked why she thinks the Discovery Center is a great volunteer opportunity, Marci said she loves the flexibility to choose when she’s available to serve. She added, “Everyone at the Discovery Center is friendly, ready to help, and it’s just so well done. When you enjoy it, it’s just easy to do.”
ICR volunteers fill a variety of roles, from answering questions to turning on exhibits to running hourly planetarium shows. Whatever the need, each team member ensures that guests experience all the Discovery Center has to offer.
Lauren has noticed that the volunteer team members’ biggest impact is in their interaction with visitors. She said, “I can think of a couple of volunteers who try to talk with every guest who comes through. After the guests move into the next part of the exhibit hall, those volunteers stop briefly and pray for those they’ve just spoken with. It’s so encouraging to watch the fellowship that occurs.”
After three months, does the Discovery Center have enough volunteers to meet the need? Lauren thinks there’s room for more: “Our volunteer program is thriving, and we want it to continue to grow. If you have a passion for ICR’s mission, if you want the world to know that the Bible is right…if you want to personally grow and learn more about this amazing universe God has created, and if you want to meet other believers passionate about creation science, then I would encourage you to at least fill out an application.”