Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Making the Connection Outside of the Church Walls

Chris and Carol Green (D.Hon.Causa)
UGCSI Professors of Process

We didn't leave the ministry. We left one method. We didn't leave the Church. We left a building. We didn't abandon a congregation. We embraced a community.

A few years ago, we came across an article by Rod Edmonson, in which he provided 7 Ways to Become a Community-Building Pastor. We knew that finding that article was not a coincidence. It was confirmation that we were moving in the right direction. 

One of the keys to our success, as we transitioned from our roles as local pastors to becoming community LIFE CARE coaches, was to follow the advice of that pastor who had a passion for church planting. We applied those principles as we planted a community-focused business in an urban neighborhood.

In his article, Rod Edmonson wrote: How can a pastor—or ministry leader—be a community builder? I don’t have all the ideas, but I have some suggestions:

1. Know key leaders - I think you should know who the leaders in the community are and know as many of them personally as possible.

2. Listen to concerns - Wherever you are, wherever you go, whatever you do in the community—whether at city hall, a school meeting or the grocery store or barbershop, listen to hear the things people are talking about around you.

3. Love what they love - I am intentionally trying to love the people to whom God has placed me to minister—and part of that—as I would do for any family member—is learning to love the things they love.

4. Learn the community - make appointments with people who are known in the community for their years of service to the community.

5. Build your community network - I’m consistently asking people to connect me with people I should know in the community.

6. Serve somewhere in the community, besides your church - we need to lead the way so that others in the church will serve in the community also.

7. Lead your church to be community builders - This isn't something we do in a campaign once a year. This must be a lifestyle—getting the church into the community—being community builders—so we can eventually be Kingdom builders.

We went through a five-year transition that included this advice. These connections not only gave us a voice in the community, but it gave us the opportunity to share our faith.

Chris and Carol Green at PA Career LinkWe were convicted for trying to rebuild, restore and renew hearts and homes without placing the main emphasis on Evangelism and Discipleship. People in the community must hear the gospel of the Kingdom. People in the Church have to be shown how to live out their faith. And through this process, we were able to declare and demonstrate the good news of the Kingdom of God and teach Believers how to walk it out daily.

Even in these modern times, with all of our impressive technology and information, it all still comes down to that same commandment that Jesus Christ gave to His followers:

And He said to them, “Go into ALL THE WORLD and preach (declare and demonstrate) the gospel to every creature."  Mark 16:15 (NKJV)

Professors Chris and Carol Green