UM Turnover Chain Inspires Miami Church’s Volunteer Chain

Dec 5, 2017

By now you may have heard of the Turnover Chain, the 5 1/2- pound 10-karat-gold Cuban link chain anchored by an orange and green sapphire studded “U.”

The University of Miami football team places the flashy chain around players’ necks when they intercept a pass or recover a fumble. It's a gaudy symbol of a  “good job.”

It has inspired many duplicate knockoffs, and now a Miami church has created its own version.

At Christ Fellowship Miami, the Volunteer Chain evokes the same concept--you did good.  It’s a long silver chain link chain, possibly of craft store variety, with a V that sparkles with silver glitter.

On Sunday, Pastor Rick Blackwood rolled out the chains and explained the concept during a sermon that touched on the important role volunteers play in the church.

“Jesus celebrates volunteers,” he said.

And, of course, there was a football analogy.

Blackwood said that church volunteers are very much like the offensive line.  They’re the ones doing most of the hard work— in this case, not physically placing their bodies in the way of another team’s defensive line, but teaching children ministries, leading praise and worship, organizing small groups and community volunteer efforts.

“Volunteers take their talent, they take their abilities, they take their skills, they take what they’re passionate about and  leverage what God has given them to serve God,” said Blackwood.

He noted in most churches the shine falls on the pastor just like on the field when a quarterback or a receiver is celebrated after a touchdown.

Hardly is the glory showered on the offensive line in the same way or,  in this instance, church volunteers who give hours of their personal time to do God’s work in their communities.

He asked parishioners, “How many of you have heard of the turnover chain?” Arms shot up into the sky.

A volunteer rolled out a rack of silver chains anchored by a glittering “V.”

They will be passed out to church volunteers at Christ Fellowship's seven Miami-Dade campuses, a less gaudy symbol of “you did good.”

“Amazing things happen at this church and it only happens because of volunteers,” said Blackwood. “They’re the offensive line. They’re the front line that makes this happen.”