With the many resources and helps available, small church pastors are finding better ways to reach the trust and support of the community and the word is getting out.
As a twenty-three-year-old pastor, an elderly pastor befriended me, mentored me and spent time with me. It was an invaluable education in community and relationships, even though I was a Bible School graduate. This elderly pastor knew the police chief, he knew the banker and the tellers; he knew the owners of the restaurant and I think he knew everybody in town. He remembered people’s names, helped them and cared for many. His church built a wing on to the original church building, the community chipped in. He walked into a restaurant and people would buy his meal. When he walked into the hospital, people would call out his name.
His friendliness, personal contact, prayers and community involvement built a legacy long after his death. Duplicating his personality would prove impossible but developing my personal, community involvement was very much possible.
In the first chapter of the book of Nehemiah, notice a small statement, “For I was the king’s cupbearer.” He served the king, was close to the king and could later request from the king resources to build the wall. This relationship proved invaluable when the wall was built around Jerusalem. Though it appears to be subservient, the role Nehemiah played in the king’s palace was essential to the purpose of the kingdom.
Here are a few practical ideas on expanding your community involvement:
1. Volunteer as a chaplain at the hospital
2. Invite the mayor, city council members, or Chamber of Commerce President to lunch.
3. Attend city functions, city council meetings and ribbon cuttings for new businesses.
4. Take snacks for to the teacher’s lounge at the local school.
5. Give the Police Chief and Fire Chief a special engraved Bible. Ask if a chaplain is available.
6. Go into the convenience store, department store, banks, and business and remember the name of the people you meet.
7. Meet with the school counselor and ask how your church can help needy families.
8. Give grocery sacks out to needy families.
9. Keep your ear to the ground for a family who lost their home to a fire, lost a child in an accident or lost their mother to cancer. Offer to pray and serve them.
10. Involve your church in the local football team, maybe running the concession stand.
This is not a complete list but definitely a place to begin as you serve your community. Believe in your heart, you are the pastor of the community and the church.
Copyright by Jim Laudell. Materials may not be copied, reproduced or distributed without the written permission of the author. You may share on Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media while giving credit to the author. This post should not be construed as medical, legal or professional advice.