“Our community is so tough. They just won’t come.” This is a common statement among churches today. But is it valid? After all, The Great Commission does not say wait for them to come to church. Jesus’ command to us in The Great Commission is to “GO”. As we are walking through life, wherever we find ourselves we are to watch for God’s opportunities to share His Love and His story.
Here are ten different arenas right in your community in which every church can embark.
1, Recreation – what recreation can your church sponsor, participate in, or host in your community. It might be something that is ongoing like a soccer or little league, any children’s sport. It could be an adult bowling or golf event or league. How about fishing tournaments, checkers in the park, marathons, wherever your imagination can take you. It might be simply providing meals for a local high school team or event.
2, Emotional Support – Providing emotional support groups for grief, divorce, addiction recovery, wounded veterans, or others.
3, Arts – Like sports, what are the possibilities of sponsoring art exhibits, clinics, or ongoing classes for music, painting or any of the arts. Why not a music or arts camp in the summer for children?
4, Parental Support – Providing evening seminars or support groups for parenting in general or single parenting is a need in every city, town, and rural community in America. Perhaps a weekly bulletin.
5, Financial Support – Offering budgeting seminars or financial information support for younger or struggling families is a great blessing. Even a monthly newsletter on financial issues families deal with.
6, Education – After school tutoring is needed in every generation. Some cultures insist on after school instruction. Adult education is also a need, as well as English as a second language. Do you have people in your church who could teach basic auto mechanics or carpentry? Education is not only the three Rs.
7, Mental health – Your church can be God’s blessing to the family with a member living with mental health issues. Even a 3 hour time slot each week as a break is a small sacrifice, but a most generous gift to the caregivers.
8, Wellness – What wellness outreach events can you host/sponsor? Do you have medical professionals in your church? What are possible health and wellness evening seminars you can host. Healthy cooking?
9, Fostering Relationships – Peer relationships are an easy way to share Jesus’ story with others, first through your living and then verbally.
10, Hobbies – How many different hobbies are held by members of your church? Some we’ve listed above, but they range from cooking, to recipes books, to reading, quilting, hunting, boating, walking, biking, motorcycling, shade-tree mechanics, gardening, bird watching, collecting, the list goes on and on.
Each one of these ten has numerous possibilities for your church. More importantly is to equip and expect members to use these as a means to share the gospel of Christ. An atheist group can do any of these, but as Christ followers we are called to share the Good News of God’s love as we go. What can you do to encourage church members to get engaged in sharing their testimony to others through any of these ten? What other arenas can you come up with?
Artwork by Deandre’ Burns