Communities across the country are teetering on the edge of fear and uncertainty. From food insecurity, to economic depression, to coming out of quarantine too quickly, people are scared and unsure. How will you lead your church to support your broader community as we navigate the community impact caused by the Covid-19 crisis?
Community is essential to who we are as a society, a nation, a neighborhood, and even as a people of God. The rules by which we govern ourselves as a church don’t necessarily translate across those community boundaries, but they can benefit everyone.
Worship Times knows how important it is to support those who are in need during this season. Here are three church ideals turned in light of supporting your community beyond your church.
Immediately you are thinking of your annual stewardship campaign. See if you can let go of that image and feeling for just a moment. Stewardship can be so much more than money. In fact, the definition of stewardship is “the job of supervising or taking care of something.” Which can definitely be applied to your community.
Take a look around at your broader community. Who is in need of help? In this time, it may be an individual, an organization, or even a small local business.
Germantown Presbyterian Church in Tennessee has added a section to their newsletter called Local Focus. Here, they highlight a local business that may be struggling and in need of support to make it through the Covid-19 crisis. You could also add this section to your website and highlight a new business every week.
Working in conjunction with other organizations is a great way to take care of those in need. Perhaps you already have relationships in place, and maybe this is a great time to build a new one. Look for a local food bank who could use your support to help feed your neighbors in need. There are places where restaurant groups are banding together to help feed those who are out of work as well. Maybe there is a diaper service, clothing organization, or one that provides basic hygiene products that could use your support.
Volunteering your time is not a viable option in this season. However, your church community could step up with a special offering to support the efforts of these organizations.
First Presbyterian Church of Nashville has started one such program. Named the 15:25 Project, First Presbyterian Nashville partners with a different non-profit organization every week. Whether it is financial support, time, or talent, the church supports the community.
Community is not only the physical location where a group of people live near one another, but it is also “a feeling of fellowship with others.” This, too, is still possible during social distancing, with just a little bit of creativity.
Fellowship will look different for every community depending on your time, talents, and treasure. For example, the Vintage Car Club in Colorado Springs has started weekly parades through senior living facilities to bring a little bit of joy and excitement to those quarantined inside.
So, your church may not have a vintage car club, but maybe you do have an Isolation Ministry Team. Your church could partner with a senior living facility to send cards or make phone calls to those who are isolated. Maybe you have gifted musicians in your midst. Perhaps you could offer sing-alongs for your broader community. Or maybe you have an extensive number of able-bodied folks with lawn mowers and hedge trimmers. This could be another way to serve your community at large.
The possibilities are endless and only bound by your imagination.
We would love to hear about the ways you are serving and supporting your broader community during this time. Use #GivingCommunity and tag @WorshipTimes to share what you are doing to bolster your community.
Worship Times is a full-service digital marketing team that specializes in helping churches of all sizes and denominations. Wherever you are, we want you to reach your people and continue your ministry. Whether you need support or reassurance that you are heading in the right direction, we are here.
In fact, our founder, Michael Gyura, is so committed to your ministry, that he has opened up time on his calendar to help your ministry during this time. This is open to anyone, whether or not you are on the Worship Times network. Schedule your free 30 minute website consultation with Michael to talk about homepage optimization, walk through your website, or answer any questions.