June 5, 2019
This is the first of two posts today (June 12, 2019). Last week I was working from home as I wasn’t feeling well and somehow failed to post this!
As we continue to work our way through 50 ways to connect our church with the wider community, we turn to thinking about what it means to “Turn Your Existing Ministries Outward”. These posts are inspired by the work of Robert Crossman, Ann A. Michel, Kim Mitchel, and Lovett H. Weems, Jr., as found in the article https://www.churchleadership.com/50-ways/50-ways-to-take-church-to-the-community/from the Lewis Centre for Christian Leadership.
So, let’s consider the following three ideas (The thought from the original article appears in blue, with my commentary underneath as it applies to us in our context at CHWUC).
“Turn your existing ministries outward”
Step 23. Challenge each church group with an inside focus to find a way to become involved with the community outside the church. A choir might sing at a nursing home, or trustees could sponsor a neighborhood clean-up.
Consider, what activity outside the church walls would best align with my church group’s passions and work to serve some need in the community? I love the two ideas above, but what other ideas could the groups at CHWUC come up with beyond these two? Do you have an idea you would like to share? Be brave – start something!
Step 24. Extend recruiting and advertising for church groups and events to audiences beyond your congregation. For example, recruit for choir members in a local paper or community list serve.
Great example! – we have a wonderful choir at this church with an amazing director and world class accompaniment. Have we advertised for new choir members beyond our walls? What other wonderful groups do we have happening here that we might want to invite others to outside of Sunday morning?
Step 25. Build relationships with those taking part in existing programs that serve the community, such as ESL classes, food pantry or clothes bank users, daycare families, etc.
We have a few things that run in this space that are not “church” activities. Have we engaged parents from the daycare or families from the guiding programs? Or what about the folks that come to our food bank? Have we intentionally engaged in conversation with those folks about how we might be in relationship with each other in new and mutually beneficial ways?
Lots to think about in these three short steps. Check out the next post that engages us in thinking about “Reach out through community events”. It is a much longer section and I think are really valuable steps to taking this kind of work to the next level!
Until then, get talking to each other about this stuff. If you’ve read this, share it with someone at church and get a conversation going.
Offered in the Peace of Christ,
Rev. Kim Curlett
Minister of Spiritual Care