Reaching your community
Grace Church, Salisbury, UK
Last year I looked around our church and I thought hang on a minute we are slap bang in the middle of this council estate but no one from it comes? I got a bee in my bonnet and wrote a paper on how I think our church is far too middle class and how I felt it needed to change. I arranged to meet with our Church Leader and moaned to him about how something needed to be done. He listened to my complaining and then at the end of our conversation said “so what are you going to do about it ” I was like what? Me? At that point I felt God say you cannot have an opinion if you are not willing to be part of the solution.
So after laying the law down to our Church leader and him batting my complaints back to me I thought what have I done? I went home and thought right that’s it I am going to help change this and set up a 6 week course for our church to explore ways in which we could better reach our community.
The course was a great way for us to look closer at our community. It became apparent that we needed to be much more relational as a church and get out and start integrating with the people around us. We all realised that a Facebook post or a flyer through the door will not build a friendship so we went to where the people were at rather than expecting them to come to us. To start we organised pub quiz at the local pub. And were astounded when Over 50 people came along. This was a great way to really start to get to know the local people. And what a treat it was when 3 people signed up for our Alpha Course. After that people kept asking what we were doing next. Many came along to further events and brought their friends along too. Then new friendships started to form and we got to know some really amazing people.
So over the last 9 months we have connected with just short of 300 non-Christian people in our local community. Some have attended church and some Alpha. We know it’s not all about the numbers and looking back we can see now that through being more intentional and relational with the people around us. We have not only made some fantastic new friends but now feel much more connected to our community My advice to anyone who has a heart for local ministry would be step up and step out, lead the way and enjoy what God does through you-his plan will be amazing.
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