I was reminded late last week about a major connection we have with those around us, our Community.
This connection takes on many forms and can simultaneously be a blessing and a curse. Strong communities are the life-blood of social interactions and allow us to enjoy the social, political, and economic aspects of being bonded together. Unfortunately, at times, there are disagreements, divisions, mis-understandings within this connection. (Sound like your church?) I had this happen to me this week with an individual. His decision for community involvement is to write on the community online forum he created that amounts to nothing more than political propaganda.
This being said, I was able to spend the weekend deciding how I would respond. My decision is to not respond at all.
However, I did start thinking about how these types of connections affect our churches. Our churches are a group of people from the community bonded together for a common purpose. We come together as a body of believers for worship and to exalt our Savior. We enjoy the fellowship of like minded individuals and the camaraderie that comes from our interactions. At times, we’ll even express our desire to have others join our group. For some, this is a true, unrelenting passion; while for others it amounts to nothing more than lip service as a response to what we perceive is a requirement.
How can our churches get beyond our walls and reach our communities?
I have often asked the question of pastors when we are talking about community involvement as follows. “If your church were forced to close it’s doors tomorrow, would the community know your were gone, and more importantly, would they feel an impact?”
It’s a tough question to ask and we’ll introduce some ideas to help. I’ll give you a sneak peak though, they involve being a part of the community without your hand out.
In the next few days and weeks, I’ll detail some ideas on how to make your church a light in your community.