Over the last several years, with so much violence and tragic incidents, I’ve been hearing from many pastor friends who are not only praying for their civil servants and their community, but they’re also finding some creative, practical and effective ways to reach out to them. Many came up with some brilliant ideas on how to serve their communities with the love of Jesus in practical ways.
Many came up with some brilliant ideas on how to serve their communities with the love of Jesus in practical ways.
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 some of our experiences and conversations with other pastors, we came up with this list of 10 ways you and your church can go the extra mile to serve your community and those who serve.
Based on some of our experiences and conversations with other pastors, we came up with this list of 10 ways you and your church can go the extra mile to serve your community and those who serve.
1. 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. Find ways to minister to them right where they are.
2. 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. Sports are a great way to build sustainable relationship with your community.
3. Be very positive and supportive of law enforcement personnel and civil servants on your social media platforms. Words can heal wounds.
4. As you build relationship with another pastor of a different cultural make-up, consider swapping pulpits one weekend or for a mid-week service.
5. Have a “Unity Sunday.” Strategize to invite a diverse crowd, invite a diverse speaker to bring the message that weekend and aim to begin to establish relationship and efforts to become a dynamically diverse church.
6. 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.
7. Find out how many law enforcement officers are in your area and bring care packages to their station. Include items such as snacks, hand sanitizer, batteries, coffee gift cards, handwritten notes, etc.
8. 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.
9. Call your church to prayer. Choose a specific day of the week and invite your entire church to pray for your community’s civil servants and law enforcement personnel.
10. Look for an organization in the heart of the city that has roots in the community and a good reputation locally. Ask them how you can help by providing manpower and financial resources.