Churches have such an impact in their communities that go beyond the physical church building. Helping those in need can look teaching the word of God or simply connecting with people in a secular way. As leaders, we should not just wait by our doors and expect people to come to us; effective service in the community is accomplished when we go out into the world.
Too often, churches get lost in their own bubble. We struggle to come up with how we can widen our reach to our communities. The good thing is that we can learn from others in how we can impact where we live. With this, here are some of our members’ ideas on ways to impact your communities.
“We have done movie nights in the parking lot the past few weeks. We usually do our Fall Festival and bonfire. Will not do that one this year.” David Carr
“We launched our own nonprofit about a decade ago, the Westminster Home Connection, which goes out into the community to address housing and home repair needs for vulnerable people. It is utterly amazing. Plus, we do the usual things like hold food drives, collect clothing and shoes, build a Habitat for Humanity house each September, partner with a local elementary school to provide supplies to needy students, provide funding for non-profits in the community, etc. https://www.westminsterhomeconnection.org/” Jennifer Larson
“We partner with a school in our city. Our growth groups each adopt a month and provide lunch or snacks for the teachers one day during the month. We provide prepackaged snacks for students throughout the year. Pre-COVID we helped tutor kids in the classroom. We aren’t allowed in the classroom right now, so we’re writing notes to teachers and doing “virtual buddies” – pairing an adult/student via Microsoft teams to help with reading, etc…” Robyn Mader
“We have a volunteer group that helps teachers tutor refugees in English at our local high school. This one high school has over 120 languages spoken by the student population.” Ann Bailey
“We partner with The Welcome Inn Day Center during the winter months. They run a low barrier daytime homeless shelter in our church. We also do one week of an overnight warming shelter. Other churches in our area also run one week so these people have a place to stay all winter.” Kristen Reinhardt
“Food. We partner with a number of community organizations. Also, we have a Brown Bag lunch ministry when kids are out of school. We deliver to neighborhoods where most kids are on free/reduced lunch. This has morphed into a number of other ministries as well but most of them come back to feeding people.” Katy Wright
Engaging with the community is essential for a church that serves the Lord. It sets a good example for your congregation, and it also follows the example that Jesus has imparted onto us. We should not limit ourselves to our own bubble; we have to go out beyond our church services and do as much as we can to spread the love of God. Let’s do something about it and really make an impact on our communities.