Aside from spiritual guidance, the church can provide many positive opportunities within the community. Cultivating an inviting culture involves ensuring your presence supports your neighbors every step of the way.
Here are seven inspiring ways your church can give back to the community, be more present and inspire them to become more active members.
1. Start Community Events
Launching local events is one way to form new relationships and foster existing ones. Your church can take advantage of holidays, like the 4th of July and Thanksgiving celebrations. Here are more fun activities to start in the neighborhood:
- Church Picnic: An intimate gathering is a great way to meet new people of all ages. Enjoy good food, the sun’s warmth and good conversation as one community.
- Carnival: One way to celebrate your neighbors is by supporting local businesses. Set up stalls where small business owners can sell and bring their families out for a day of fun, food and games.
- Talent Competition: Set a day where kids can showcase their talents. Encourage parents and children to get involved in supporting one another.
- Sports Day: Exercise through playing sports can reduce the risk of dementia by 30% and motivate people to stay active. A church sports day helps improve the bond between members and encourages them to visit church more often to bond with their teammates-turned-friends.
2. Launch a Vacation Bible School
Summer means more free time for children, making it an excellent opportunity to learn more about Christ, deepen their faith and meet new friends. Help provide resources such as free childcare and Biblical education. You can also recruit young adults to help teach kids at church to contribute to the community.
Aside from this, the church can also host a Bible reading club as a post-school activity for kids to offer parents valuable alone time before their children return home.
3. Start a Community Clean-up
Christians often hear the saying cleanliness is next to godliness, reminding people of their moral duty to keep themselves, their homes and the environment clean.
One way to serve your neighbors is through maintaining a safe, healthy environment for them. If your church is in an urban area, you probably encounter litter and trash along the streets, nearby rivers or public places. When choosing a community cleanup project, remember that certain efforts may require permission from the city.
Go door-to-door with other church members to rake the leaves, pick up litter or shovel snow during winter. You’ll be amazed to see how these small acts can warm the community’s hearts.
4. Fund a Community Park
God didn’t create human beings to be loners — He wanted people to stir up one another to love and do good works. A community park provides a space where people can fulfill God’s word — get together, have fun and forge meaningful relationships.
This communal space provides a space for interactions and can spark an increase in exercise and a 25% increase in community members getting active three times a week or more. It also holds the power to improve the mental health of people — spending time in nature can help relieve stress, depression and anxiety.
5. Organize an Outreach Program
Outreach is an act of worship, a direct obedience to Christ’s core command to “do to others what you would have them do to you.” Through an outreach program, you build avenues where people can support disadvantaged people in your community.
Whether it’s homeless people, out-of-school children or kids in a shelter, spending a fraction of your day with them can be life-changing. Live out the mission of Christ to help those in need — sponsor meals, lead fundraising efforts and donate supplies.
6. Provide Them with Additional Space
Do you have an extra space in your church building that people can use for their endeavors? You can open your free rooms to other organizations for meetings or as classrooms. Consider collaborating with local organizations and offering the building for an incoming senior citizen’s activity or a company Christmas party.
7. Do a Prayer Walk
Worship God’s presence in your neighborhood with a prayer walk. Gather the community in a walk of prayer — chant a prayer and sing Christian songs to praise God together.
Before you start, ask God to give you insight into others’ needs so you can guide the group better. Ask church members to invite their friends to pray and momentarily stop at each other’s homes. Remember to also pass by schools, clinics and other public areas to pray for the peace and safety of local workers.
Reach Out to Your Community Today
These are just seven of the many inspiring ways the church can serve your neighbors. When you implement these ideas, your neighbors will develop positive feelings towards God and the church. Stay determined in helping others and you’ll soon notice a transformative change in your community.