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February 20, 2016

9 Ways to Engage Your Community

By Adam Mabry

As church planters, hopefully you’re not only dreaming of full church gatherings, well-funded budgets, and successful programs. Hopefully you’re dreaming of what your city will look like when the gospel takes root. This is the task of cultural engagement, and it’s deeply rooted in the call to plant the church.

But, practically, how can the church planter begin to take up social responsibility for the city? What does it look like not to merely plant a church in a city, but to plant a Spirit-empowered, socially responsible church that takes up the mantle of cultural engagement? Consider a few of these practical ideas:

  1. Pray for Your City

    Commit not only to pray for the work of Jesus in your church, but for your city. Pray for the mayor, the councilors or selectmen, the police and law enforcement. Pray for the business leaders and the poor. Pick neighborhoods and pray for them consecutively.

  2. Attend City Council Meetings

    Being present for your city’s decision making processes is very important. Introduce yourself to the officials you can, and keep up-to-date with the needs of your city.

  3. Build City Relationships

    Get to know the businesses in your community. Consider becoming a part of the Chamber of Commerce in your city. Relationships take time, so be willing to invest part of your time into your city.

  4. Sponsor City Events

    If your city is holding a festival or gathering, consider being a sponsor.

  5. Help the Poor and the Hurting in the City

    Actively seek out ways to help the hurting and the poor of your city. Look for the local charities that you can partner with, support, and send volunteers to. Identify leaders who can lead ministry to the hurting in your city.

  6. Assist and Bless City Officials

    Send care packages to local law enforcement. Meet your police and fire officials and tell them how much you appreciate them. Invite them to church one Sunday and honor them for their service to your city.

  7. Sponsor Local Schools

    Identify the needs of your local schools and try to meet them. They may need supplies or upgrades with their facilities.

  1. Represent Jesus to the City

    When social or political causes rise, be a loving prophetic voice to your city. Write and speak for justice in your city.

  2. Disciple Your People to be Excellent

    Teach your people to be their best at work. Great workers make a great place to live.

Planting Christ-centered, Spirit-empowered, socially responsible churches requires us to think about more than Sunday attendance, baptisms, and budgets. The planter must ask God for the greatness of heart to love the city to which God has called him. Consider the possibilities of what this might look like.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Adam Mabry

Adam Mabry (@adammabry) serves as the Lead Pastor of Aletheia Church in Boston, MA. He lives in Boston with his wife, Hope, and their four kids. Fueled by a passion for the truth and grace of the gospel to change lives, He has spent his life up to this point planting churches and working with church planters. He speaks extensively on church planting and coaches various planters around the world within the Every Nation family of churches. His books, thoughts, and other resources are available at adammabry.tv.

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