12 Jun Sharing His Light by Serving Your Community
Community Outreach Ideas For Churches
Ephesians 2:10 says, “We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” The inherent purpose of the church is to serve. But how ought we to be serving? When is the right time? How do I know my church is doing enough? If you find yourself moved to serve, but are having some trouble getting started, here are some tips to help you get on the right track.
First, acknowledge that serving is threefold: connected, visible, and goal-driven.
Being connected to your community is an essential part of carrying out your duty as a church and as children of God. The local community must know that you are loving, caring, and welcoming to all people. A strong bond with your community will increase their receptiveness to your efforts.
Visibility is key within any campaign, and this is no different when it comes to the church. Whether it’s a big, vibrant church building in the center of town, a sign on the main road or something as simple as posters hung up around town advertising your service or event, your efforts to help will not be received unless your church is seen.
And finally, you must have a goal or timeline in mind for your efforts. There can’t be progress without a goal. This does not have to be some back-breaking challenge, a goal can be as simple as helping one person, one family, one business, or one small community. A timeline will help keep everyone organized and on-task. Once you become more comfortable with smaller-scale service projects, there can be an emphasis on moving forward with bigger goals and more aggressive timelines, but set realistic expectations at first, and expect to fall short of them. Learn from the experiences, and you’ll be a pro in no time!
So now that your church has passed this checklist, it’s time to get out into the community. Here are some ways your church can use what it already might have in place to serve the community it lies within.
A safe place.
Depending on the size and location of your church, you might already have the capacity to do this. The Church ought to be a place where everyone can feel safe. Something as simple as hosting a daycare for children whose parents are unable to watch them after school, holding a youth sports tournament, or inviting community members to a cookout or event can give people a safe place to be, where they can escape from outside influences or worries, and be fully immersed in God’s love.
Making use of God-given talents.
A church is often a beautiful, diverse place that is filled with members of ranging skills, gifts, and passions. Put them to use! It could be as simple as offering to help people file their taxes at no charge, hosting a class or workshop, or helping elderly people set up their technology. Think outside the box!
Some needs are monetary. Taking up a small donation offering can often do the trick, but sometimes money must be raised from other avenues. Fundraising can be as simple as your average bake sale, or as complex as working a local event to generate pay towards a charitable cause.
Partnerships. Fundraising isn’t the only way to generate funds or resources for a cause. It is also worth looking into partnering or volunteering with local organizations. Establishing relationships with local businesses and charities can often lead to favorable sponsorship relations when there is a need.
This list should help you generate some ideas regarding how you can best serve your community with the resources you have. Remember to always think outside the box, and sit down with your congregation to brainstorm.