How does your church or school fit into your neighborhood? Are you like someone with whom your community members can chat over the fence or share a cup of coffee – or are you the stranger who lives across the alley they wave at but never talk to? The Bible says “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.” (1 John 4:7) How can we show love to our neighbors? By being neighborly!
There is no “one-size-fits-all” checklist for building relationships with your community, but below are some ideas for learning about your community—what the people who live around you are really like, what their dreams are, what their struggles are, and what the love of Christ will look like in your neighborhood. Then it will be up to your congregation to decide the best ways to serve them. Maybe it will be a mercy ministry to meet a physical need, maybe it will be caring for their children in some way, maybe it will be providing a needed space in the community. Listen to your community to find out how to serve it!
Building relationships with your community should start inside your congregation with prayer, conversations and encouragement. The prayer is that God will show your people how they can shine His light outside the church walls. The more encouragement and equipping of your members, the more engagement that can take place. Soon, God will be using your members as His witnesses wherever they go.
Contact Nichole Hetz at the District Office to explore how one or more of these ideas might be used to build relationships in your community.
- Congregational Listening Groups
- Community Leader Survey
- Prayer Walking in your Community
- Community Survey