The point of all this is that the church NOW CAN and should step back up to reclaim its position as the “center of town”. People have real needs. And we’re missing so many chances to step up and show them who Jesus is. In fact, there have been several “movements” in that direction over the years:
- Many books about getting out of the “4 walls” and “unleashing” the church
- Countless articles and speeches about being the hands and feet of Jesus, mobilizing the members and other catchy phrases
- A lot of well-intentioned pastor meetings to talk about church unity
But the problem is no one has ever “operationalized” those movements. Everyone leaves those pastor meetings feeling excited, but when the day-to-day reality of “unleashing”, “mobilizing” and “unity” is e-mails, phone calls and spreadsheets, the meeting winds up being little more than a “pep rally” and some good networking.
The core issue here is that the needs in the community are just too numerous. Churches don’t have enough staff to filter all of those needs and put them in front of members, enabling the members to find the opportunities that fit their skills and interests. And the pastors and staff certainly don’t have the ability to make sure their members make good on their promises to help, or to collect testimonials so they can report back to the church and get others excited about stepping up to serve the community.
Because churches can’t get their arms around all the local needs, church members don’t know what they can do to help. What if a plumber, a retired businessman, a single mom, or a nurse wants to volunteer? What if a family of four has stuff in their garage and wants to give it to someone in need, not just drop it off somewhere, get a receipt and head home? TO BE CONTINUED…