I’ve heard people ask the question, “if our church closed its’ doors, would the community miss us?” This is a great metric for assessing the value your church is to the community. I would say that the more you seek to serve your community, the greater the opportunity for a positive Christian witness.
Here are 7 opportunities for your church to serve your community.
Host a Block Party. A huge need in our communities is isolation and loneliness. Many people don’t know their neighbours. You can host a block party at your church or in members’ homes and invite the neighbours. Maybe you could have a block party day where several members host block parties all around your town.
Community Clean Up. A simple and effective way to serve your community is to clean up garbage. Get some church shirts made up and get a few people together and clean up a section of your community. You can even offer to clean up peoples’ yards.
Drop In Resume Writing / Job Search. Do you have a few computers, the internet and a printer? Then you can get some of your members to host a resume writing drop in. Retired teachers are amazing at this. Advertise it at your local library, community services and more. Keep it at a consistent time.
After School Drop In / Home Work Club. Build your relationship with the local school and offer a free or low cost home work club after school a few days a week from 3-4:30. Make it professional and use registration to help track those who attend.
English Conversation Classes. If you’re in an area with immigration, a huge need is an English conversation class. This isn’t like ESL as it does not need certified instructors. Simply pick some areas of discussion (ordering from a menu, going to the bank, looking for a job etc…) and help English language learners navigate these nuances. Keep a consistent time. You may even want to do this outside the church.
Host Birthday Parties. Do you have a “fellowship hall” in your basement with a kitchen? What a great opportunity to offer it at a low cost for people to have birthday parties. You’ll need a party host(s), guidelines for rentals and, some options for decorations, cake etc… The community will welcome the space and you’ll have an opportunity to connect with your community.
Host Community Forums/Workshops. Find out what the pressing needs are in your community and arrange a forum or seminar on them. You could host a mental health workshop, teen drug abuse workshop, violence against women workshop and more. Bring in local experts or locate current videos that address the issues. Let your church become a community hub and be a positive Christian voice in the mix.
Pick one of these things and begin to engage it this Fall. Build relationships with your community and become a value as you add life to your city/town.