It’s important to know how to serve your community in times of struggle and crisis. I’ve been hearing from many pastor friends who are finding some creative and effective ways to reach out. Many came up with some brilliant ideas on how to serve in practical ways, so we wanted to share them.
My good friend Pastor Jimmy Rollins, lead pastor of i5 Church in the Baltimore area, has valuable experience building a diverse church that influences its community. Based on conversations with him and other pastors, we came up 10 ways to serve your community AND those who serve.
10 Ways to Serve Your Community
- Seek out opportunities to reach out to the people that have been hurt by the situation. Remember, as the Church we are called to be there for hurting people, so find ways to minister to them right where they are.
- Build sustainable relationships with your community is through sports. Serve the concession stands at a local high school football or basketball game. Build relationship with that school and offer to provide volunteers to serve as chaplains for those teams.
- Be very positive and supportive of law enforcement personnel and civil servants on your social media platforms. Words can heal wounds, so use them to bring encouragement.
- Consider swapping pulpits with another pastor of a different cultural make-up.
- Have a “Unity Sunday.” Strategize to invite a diverse crowd, invite a diverse speaker to bring the message that weekend, then begin to establish relationship and efforts to become a dynamically diverse church.
- Record a discussion between you and a pastor with a different cultural background talking about the Church’s role in the community. Then play the video in both churches on the same weekend.
- Find out how many law enforcement officers are in your area, then bring care packages to their station. Include snacks, hand sanitizer, batteries, coffee gift cards, handwritten notes, etc.
- Ask your police chief which areas of the city need clean-up of trash and debris (parks, neighborhoods, intersections), and offer to have teams from your church do the work.
- Call your church to prayer. Choose a specific day of the week, then invite your entire church to pray for your community’s civil servants and law enforcement personnel.
- Look for an organization in the heart of the city that has roots and a good reputation locally. Ask them how you can help by providing manpower and financial resources.