In these days of financial stresses and deep depressions, help and encouragement is one of the best things that we can do for each other. Often churches are seeking fresh ideas on how to help their community. At this moment I am doing a great deal of outreach in my parish.
These are the the 8 things that I have found helpful in community.
You can try them all or just start with one or two. The most important part is you need to get started.
1. Adopting a Family
Be a friend by inviting them to lunch. Send a member of the family to a conference or retreat. Take interest in the progress of the new church. Provide childcare for a planter and his wife as they go on a date.
2. Contributing to the Financial Needs
Often, church plants have significant start-up costs and ongoing expenses. Through monthly or onetime gifts, individuals and churches can provide valuable funding streams. Business leaders can help provide jobs for planters, their families, and team members. Check and see if your church has a “family rescue” plan in which a family in dire need can get help. If not maybe this would be a good thing to start.
3. Providing Materials and Equipment
That extra television of older computer can find a great second life within a church or religious institution.Sound systems, computers, and office equipment are valuable assets. Get your entire church involved with a “Baby Shower” for the church nursery or reuse of Vacation Bible School materials and props. In winter and summer children always need a safe place. If your church has space you can show movies. This will give neighborhood kids something to look forward to.
4. Sharing Your Skills
Your church may need someone to do some filing work or some construction. The smallest amount of time given can be the biggest progress made on building access ramps and things of that nature. Hands on help is always needed.There may be a tutoring program that may need your skills.
5. Serving on a Church Mission Trip
Youth groups, college students, and adults can assist a mission trip in a day, weekend, and weeklong setting. Community surveys block parties, Backyard Bible schools, and neighborhood canvassing are events benefiting the church plant and the partnering church. They help the neighborhood and they stimulate growth.
6. Discovering Unreached / Under-reached People in Your Community
Your church can identify population groups that are not being reached by evangelical ministries.
Often churches notice that certain segments of the community do not assimilate into their church after evangelistic events or notice communities desperately need of ministry care. Churches engage these groups with ministries meeting community needs, Gospel seed sowing, and leadership development of leaders from the harvest.
7. Starting an Outreach Bible Study
Bible studies are effective ways to lead people to Christ. A Bible study unit can grow into a core leadership team for a church.
8. Join the welcoming committee. When you see a new neighbor move in go and introduce yourself. They are acclimating to a new home and possibly a new neighborhood, so your greeting can be best thing they have heard in awhile.
Most of all get excited and get started.