So what do you do to connect with and get to know your community?
A few years ago I did a short-cut and just ordered a demographic report that told me lots of interesting tidbits. For a time I felt pretty good. It showed me various trends. It told me what denominations were most prevalent and what age groups were living within a five mile radius of the church. But I realized that I didn’t really have an understanding of my community. I’m still trying to grasp with what my community is all about.
In this post I wrote about why I think it’s important that you actually live in the community that you’re trying to minister to. At the moment I live about 40 minutes (on a good day) from where my church is. So I certainly feel handicapped. Lord willing I’ll be able to sell our house and move closer. But I’m trying to do what I can where I am. I’ve been thinking about it, and I’d like to get your input for how someone can connect and get to know their community in a more personal and real way.
I’ll share a a quick thought first, and then I’d love it if you could share some ideas:
One thing I’ve been doing to get out is to work on my sermons every week from a local Borders book store. I actually met another pastor who gets some work done there as well. I think it’s kinda funny, actually. I’ve been doing it for a little over a month now, and I feel like like the employees and I are at least getting to the “hey, I think I recognize you again” stage.
I’m almost embarrassed to admit it, but I actually don’t know that many unchurched people, except for those that have come to church and am building a relationship with. But it is something I want to work on.
So let’s throw some stuff down and get some ideas flowing.
[image by Scorpions and Centaurs]