This week we talked with Dave Jacobs about being more outward focused as a church. Easy to talk about, but challenging to actually do! We might need to ruffle some feathers in the pews in order to focus more on people in the streets.
As we were reflecting on that conversation, we thought – what could we do, as a church, that would surprise our community? We mean a good surprise now, not the usual, “Well, that’s surprising!” of a scandal or split.
Usually organizations and businesses look out for their own members’ needs, desires, or demands. Clubs serve their membership, and service companies try to keep their customers happy and coming back. The police and fireman are looking for donations, the youth organizations want sponsors and volunteers, and the fitness centers want more annual memberships.
What Would They Say?
What do churches want, from a community’s perspective? How do people in our town or city view us? What would they say?
“They want to be left alone.”
“They want a lot of property, tax-free.”
“They want more land for parking, or parking privileges from their neighbors.”
“They want us in the community to be for what they’re for, and against what they’re against.”
Churches are usually against homosexuals and same-sex marriages, gambling establishments, bars and nightclubs, gangs and drug dealers, and the overreach of local government.
Churches are normally for more donations and charitable giving, more members, volunteers, and baptisms. They want to add services, parking, staff, facilities, and technology.
A New Year!
Well, we have a new school/church year upon us. What in the world could YOUR church do that would surprise your community – in a very nice way? What could you do that would be counter-intuitive and that would bless your neighbors/community/community leaders?
What Do They Need?
What are the greatest needs in your community? What do single-parent families need? What do single parents need? What do the children need? What do the teenagers need?
What are the greatest needs of the new people moving into your town or city? What do the business owners in your neighborhood need?
What do the elderly need in your community? What do the poor or social outcasts need? What do the people in your hospital, retirement center, or long term care facility need?
What do the same-sex couples in your town need? What do the alcoholics, drug addicts, prisoners, or homeless people need?
The Answers Might Be Your Opportunity!
What are the answers to those questions? The answers might provide you an opportunity to surprise your community in a way that spreads the love of Jesus and the message of the Gospel?
What could you do this fall and during the coming school/church year that would surprise your community? Talk to your leaders and the people in your church. Have a brainstorming session. Sit and talk around a dinner or lunch. Here’s a thought – go ask them! Elevate the discussion. Find answers.
Make a difference.
Next week: Episode 83 – Two Crucial Steps To Breaking Your Pornography Addiction.
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