5 Ways to Engage Your Community
by Adam Howard
Content Coordinator, CBN Europe
It can sometimes feel very daunting to start walking out this thing called community. Maybe it feels more difficult because it’s literally on your doorstep, but that is in fact the beauty of it; you don’t have to go far to make a difference.
If we truly believe that the church is bigger than the building, and it is in fact you and I, then we can’t wait for ‘the church’ to establish community in our neighbourhood. Rather, we must be the body (or expression of church) that implements faith in action to the people we live beside.
Let me encourage you – you have been placed by God in the very place He needs you to be right now. There is something beautiful and unique that you can bring to the table, whatever your social predisposition.
We must be the body that implements faith in action to the people we live beside.
Here are a few things to get you going:
You don’t have to start with organising a 17-course tasting menu for every single family on your street, closing roads and setting up bunting across the lampposts. Start by inviting your immediate neighbour round for a coffee…maybe even a cake. That’s it.
Depending on where you live, why not think about a street or block activity, such as a street clean up. This can be a very practical and inclusive beginning to building community together. A shared goal for the good of the whole; inclusive of all ages, genders and abilities. Each playing their part to build something together.
Food is always a winner. Maybe you can include your church small group or a few families together to host a breakfast for your neighbours. It breaks down barriers and opens the doors to conversations. For the last few years I have been involved in hosting breakfasts and BBQ’s for our communities, seeing great engagement and ongoing relationships built with the communities that we live. It works!
Look at key times of year that you can gather to build ‘family’ together. Christmas and Easter are always good opportunities and people are open to joining together.
Keep Your Eyes Peeled
It’s not being nosy to notice someone who may be lonely or struggling. We live in a time where communication is so easy, but connection can be so difficult. They are two very different things. Ask God to open your eyes to those who may need connection with others and with God.
This is by no means a tick-list to success, but I hope it has got the cogs turning. I wholeheartedly believe that when we step out in faith to engage with the lost around us, God always meets us on the other side, and blows away all our expectations.
The question is; are we willing to inconvenience ourselves to step into the lives of others; to bring faith, hope and love to the neighbours, neighbourhoods and nations where we are placed?