If your church shut its doors, what would the impact be on your community? Would anyone outside your tried and true even notice that Sunday service had ceased? The church exists to serve the community and be an instrument of Christ in the world, this week’s Ministry Briefing takes a look at how your church is engaging your community.
This week, Pope Francis released a new statement “On Love In The Family.” In it he encourages churches to approach Christianity’s two most divisive issues, Abortion and Homosexuality, with warmth and openness. This could be an ideal time to reflect on how your church is viewing these politically charged issues, especially in an election year.
Biblical interpretation on these issues varies greatly and your community may be wondering what yours is. Is your leadership team clear on this? Do you have open discussion for how to talk about abortion with someone who has had one or how to share your thoughts about homosexuality without being hurtful?
One of the best ways to connect with your community is through your local school, many schools have needs like mentorship or tutoring that could be met with the warmth of the local church. Do your school secretaries know your leadership by name or do they only hear from you when you struggle or object to something?
This week the American Library Association released their list of most controversial books and for the first time the Bible made the cut. Separation of church and state has always been a hot button issue but how can your church approach this with grace? No church seeks to coerce students into faith so if we believe Christ’s truth will out, are we supportive of learners having access to all the information available?
Speaking of available information, nowhere holds more data than the internet and this week the Observer released hilarious and eye opening list of Yelp reviews left for New York City churches. Some were ridiculous but some hit home, covering things like unwelcoming attitudes and holier than thou services. What would a Yelp review from the average member of your local neighborhood look like? Who are you creating space for and who might you be squeezing out?
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