110 Glocal Ways to Reach Your Community
Everywhere you go today, you see great need—hunger, sickness, loneliness, crime, despair, and most certainly spiritual need. If one has a desire to help, and to make a difference, it can be overwhelming. Who should I help first? Can I really make a difference if I feed one hungry person? What if they brought all this on themselves? These are hard questions. If you throw in theological questions like, “Which is more important, physical or spiritual needs?”, it can get even muddier.
The body of Christ has wrestled with this for decades. Glocal Mission believes that a person’s spiritual need for Christ is of paramount importance and must be addressed, but we also believe we misrepresent the heart of God, and fail to understand our role as believers if we ignore, or minimize, tangible physical need. “If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? “ James 2:15-16
We developed 110 Glocal Ways to Reach Your Community as a holistic tool to help us be missionaries in our backyard who meet physical needs and effectively communicate the Gospel. This strategy has three very simple steps. We call this Good, Better, Best.
Good – Make a Difference
The church needs to be in the community as we represent the God who came to seek and save the lost. One way to get out into your community is to take a close look at those who live near you and ask God to show you some of the physical needs that you can meet. “Do not neglect to do good, and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God” Hebrews 13:16
Does the community have a large elderly population? Are there a lot of single parent families? Are there immigrants in your community that need help learning English? We created 110 Glocal Ways to Reach Your Community to give you tons of different ideas ranging from running a sports camp to setting up a food pantry to hosting ESL classes. Some of the ideas work well for children and some for adults. Our mission churches have successfully implemented many of these ideas and found they are effective ways to make a difference in someone else’s life.
Better- Make Relationships
Once you have prayerfully chosen the activity or service you will provide, you will need a plan for building relationships with those you will serve. This is so obvious and yet many times forgotten. It’s not because we are uncaring or lazy, but it’s forgotten because we are not intentional about it. We get busy serving and helping and don’t have the time to actually get to know the people God is sending to us. Has that ever happened to you? We coach our mission churches to put people in place whose exclusive role is to meet and greet. Dedicate one part of the team to serve while the other part gets to know the people on a first-name, personal basis. This makes an incredible difference! One church calls this the “side by side” team. Many times this team also serves as prayer intercessors. It’s a beautiful way for the body of Christ to work together as the servants serve and the relational people build relationships.
Best – Make Disciples
At the end of the day, our mandate from God is to Make Disciples! The old saying, “People don’t care what you know until they know how much you care” applies here. As trust is established, relationships are built, and some effort has been made to alleviate an immediate need, hearts become much more open to the Gospel. As important as it is to meet a need, we must keep in mind that words are needed in order for someone to come to faith. “…how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? …So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” Romans 10:14,17.
Loving actions by themselves are not enough. We must reflect the loving compassion of God with our actions and speak the saving truth of the great Gospel of Jesus Christ with our mouths. Intentionality is required here as well. How will the Gospel be shared? Who will follow up with the visitors?
When Good, Better, Best is functioning properly, the body of Christ is most effective. Believers with many different gifts and talents find a place of involvement and work together to advance the Kingdom of God by making a difference, making relationships, and making disciples.
If you would like more information on 110 Glocal Ways to Reach Your Community, please contact us.