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Presentation on theme: "OUTREACH ISN’T OPTIONAL"— Presentation transcript:

Why Community Ministry is Essential to Your Congregation’s Future Leader: Joy Skjegstad

Why Community Ministry is Essential to Your Congregation’s Future

3 Joy Skjegstad
Joy Skjegstad, author of Winning Grants to Strengthen Your Ministry (Alban Institute 2007) and Starting A Nonprofit At Your Church (Alban Institute 2002), is a national speaker and consultant on nonprofit management and ministry development.  She has more than 20 years of experience starting and growing nonprofit organizations, with a special focus on faith-based groups, and youth and community development.  She has served as the Executive Director of the Park Avenue Foundation at Park Avenue United Methodist Church and is the founder of the Institute for Ministry Leaders, a university-based training program that builds the management capacity of churches and other ministry organizations.  She also served as the President of Sanctuary Community.

4 Not just one more thing to do…
COMMUNITY MINISTRY: Not just one more thing to do… Rather than just being one program in a long list of many offered by your church……. Often it is put in there in a long list with “happenings” at the church each week: women’s breakfast, youth concert, Bible study, Sunday School, and community service project (for example). --when it’s like this, community ministry can become like just one more thing to do, rather than a major theme of your congregation.

5 Driving Engine for the Church
Community ministry should be a driving engine for the church—not just one program in a long list of many

6 Another image—community ministry should be a bright thread in the tapestry of your congregation
--a thread that runs through the entire piece of cloth --one that is easily identifiable and unique Thread in a Tapestry

7 The heart of what we do --a deep desire to know the people in our community --to reach them with the Gospel of Jesus Christ ----and to help them reach their full potential --how to tell what’s in your heart as a church: it’s what people talk about, what people give their time and money too. What brings the most excitement. -

8 Undergirding Community
Example: How community ministry might undergird, rather than just be an “add-on”: Community ministry focus in Sunday School classes for all ages Sessions for everyone on “hunger in our community”—for example How do we see in the Bible about “hunger” and helping people meet basic needs? What are the implications for our church that there are hungry people in our community?

9 Support and Involvement from all
Another example: Service projects or community ministry efforts that are presented to all members of the church --inviting involvement and support from all --strong support and presentations from the pulpit --NL example: everyone in the church knew about and was supportive of the community outreach efforts, many volunteered and gave money. Number one identifier when people were asked what was unique about their church, and what they would like to preserve. --involvement will vary—Normandale example of Bangladesh (raising and giving $, praying, volunteering here, and doing short-term or long-term missions there)

10 Missional A key aspect of being “missional”—see Reggie McNeal’s writings, also “The Externally Focused Church” --shifting from an internal focus to an external focus --less concern about developing programs in the church for the people in the church --Fewer staff and financial resources devoted to these --More resources focused on serving the community, meeting needs and community evangelism

11 Missional Missional—changing the way we measure success: --The question is not “how big is our church?” but “how well are we serving our community?”

12 Missional Missional—shifting from a church view to a Kingdom of God view --church thinks more of Kingdom impact than church growth (McNeal)

13 Keeping the Church Relevant
Reason #1 for making community ministry a priority: Community ministry is critical to keeping the church relevant in a changing society

14 “out there” “in here” To be connected to what is happening “out there” so that what happens “in here” is relevant to the community --being in the community in new ways, so you hear stories of issues and struggles --aware of things that may never make it in to the newspaper, or at least for awhile (example: foreclosure crisis arising in parts of Minneapolis before the news ever hit the newspaper,

15 Connecting with NEW IMMIGRANTS
Example: New immigrants are moving into the community around your church Connecting with these people in your community can bring: --a deeper knowledge of the typical challenges faced by immigrants (employment, housing, legal issues, etc.) --an understanding that many of the stereotypes aren’t true --example: talking with someone recently who said that her father had a particular attitude about immigrants until he volunteered in the public schools with children of immigrant parents. Saw immigrants in a new light. Connecting with NEW IMMIGRANTS

16 An appreciation for the cultures represented in your community—Latino cultures, West African, East African, youth culture, --what are the strengths of these cultures? --what are their celebrations and traditions? --what do they bring to the mixture of people already in your community? Appreciating CULTURE

17 Our LENS for Seeing God Knowledge of how people different from you may understand and experience the Gospel --a challenge to how your own background may be more of a “lens” than you thought --how do others see Jesus and his ministry, for example?

18 Another example: The neighborhood around the church sees an influx of college students. A congregation of middle-aged and older people is now surrounded by people in their 20’s. Twenty-Somethings

19 The FLAVOR of Worship Implications—a new way to do church? Does the flavor of worship change?

20 Do church services or outreach efforts take place in a different location?
--important to reach people of other faiths (ex: Somali immigrants) --or those for whom church is not a part of their background

21 How does a church do community ministry?
How does the church now engage in community ministry? --immigrants? Legal clinic? English language classes? --need Spanish-speaking staff or volunteers?

22 Engaging YOUNG ADULTS in the Church
Reason #2 for making community ministry a priority: Outreach is critical to engaging young adults in the church Engaging YOUNG ADULTS in the Church

23 UNCHURCHED Many are unchurched (nearly half of year olds, 36% of year-olds) --Barna research

24 Young adults are concerned about the church staying relevant to our world
--they are concerned about “hypocrisy” within the church. We don’t live out our faith. We are there on Sunday, but not every other day of the week. --a pastor that ministers to young adults said to me: “Young adults decide on their first Sunday at a church whether it is a church that serves the poor or an ‘evil’ church.”

25 Drawing YOUNG ADULTS to the Church
Community outreach is a good way to draw young adults to the church

26 A generation that is more communal, less individualistic
--opportunities to be part of a group --form relationships --like to live in communal settings (my examples) --work together for the common good

27 Cause-Oriented Community Service
Oriented toward helping others, community service --cause-oriented --many have experience working on service projects, volunteering or working in nonprofits Cause-Oriented Community Service

28 Return on INVESTMENT Want a visible return-on-investment for their involvement --want to see results --feel that the investment of their time and energy has resulted in something --community ministry projects can provide this—see lives changed (children learn to read, adults get jobs, built a new house for a family who needed it).

29 EVANGELISM Can Begin with Community Service
New methods of evangelism with young adults—start with a community service project --church plants that are starting this way --opportunities to build relationships first --may be a year or more before church services for the plant begin --or have community service for “seeker” young adults, invite them to church much later --demonstrating how important the community is to the church congregation Can Begin with Community Service

30 UNCHURCHED … Want Involvement
Community ministry can also help your church reach other “unchurched” people Barna’s research: “how much the church is involved in helping the poor and disadvantaged” is 4th on the list of what unchurched people consider when choosing a church to visit (nearly 40% selected this as “extremely important”)

31 Bringing NEW ENERGY to your Congregation
Reason #3: Community ministry can bring new energy to your congregation

32 PULLING TOGETHER Galvanizing everyone around a cause
--putting other conflicts aside perhaps --pulling together in new ways to help others --an idea and goal out in front of the congregation that helps to draw people forward PULLING TOGETHER

33 Helps to develop a culture of giving
--Opportunities to talk to the congregation about how they use their resources --hopefully instilling a greater focus on what we can give than what we can get --hard questions—how am I spending my time? How am I spending my money? Should I be using my resources differently?

34 GIFTS Fitting Together
People feeling good about using their gifts in the church --they feel needed --they see the impact of their involvement --they fit together with the gifts of other people in the body GIFTS Fitting Together

35 Can draw new partners into the mix
Can draw new partners into the mix. How could your church work with other groups in your small town/community?

36 Partners can bring new ideas

37 Partners can bring new resources, expertise, people, money.
--May come with programs already developed --May come with a ready-made base of volunteers --May be additional funding opportunities when pursued with a partner

38 Energy from finding the best use for your church facility.
--more people in the building, knowing that your church is there and what your church is about --more activity in the building—more life, more purpose --your space more fully utilized, rather than sitting empty

39 SPIRITUAL VITALITY Reason #4: Community ministry can bring new spiritual vitality, individually and in the congregation

40 Ministering to OUR NEIGHBORS
Ministering to our neighbors is what God wants us to do --helping the poor and oppressed is a major theme of the Bible --ignoring and exploiting the poor is one of two reasons the nation of Israel becomes separated from God (Old Testament) --serving the poor is a sign of a devoted Christian

41 A Major Part of JESUS’ MINISTRY
--”For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give…” Mark 10:45 --ministering to the least and the oppressed --”The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor…” --the poor had a special place in his ministry, consistently with people who were rejected by the larger society.

42 Since the Early Church … MINISTERING TO ORPHANS
A clear priority in the early church --ministering to the widows and orphans is described as a major work of the church (passage on organizing this more effectively) --”There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and was distributed to anyone as he had need.” Acts 4:34-35 --Paul writes to his churches about the collection for the poor frequently, highlighting both needs and the responsiveness of the people in the churches

43 What Happens When We FOLLOW GOD?
--God calling us to something unexpected, work with people we didn’t expect, in a place we didn’t expect --God may only give part of the picture, not all of it What Happens When We FOLLOW GOD?

44 New opportunities for discipleship
--people deepen their faith by serving --people build relationships with each other by serving --

45 THE SPIRIT AT WORK The Holy Spirit can work in new ways
--in us as individuals --working in the group --can be manifested as creativity—new insights and ideas for ministry --can be manifested as people coming together in new ways, putting conflicts and differences aside and building Godly relationships with each other. --can mean new opportunities for ministry. --new spiritual gifts may become evident

46 Resources on this Topic

47 Joy Skjegstad

48 My Books Winning Grants to Strengthen Your Ministry Buy Now
Outlines the step-by-step process of seeking foundation and corporate grant $ for ministry Buy Now

49 My Books Starting A Nonprofit At Your Church Buy Now
For churches that want to start separate 501©3 nonprofits Buy Now

50 Consulting Services Available Joy Skjegstad
Strategic Planning and Visioning Fundraising plans and strategies Board development and training Community ministry design and launch Facilitation and focus groups Nonprofit start-up or re-launch



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