I love ideas. Especially new ones, or old ones with a different spin. I love ideas for churches that help them reach outside their doors to help others. And ideas for churches that help teach old concepts in a new way. I also love to look at culture and try to determine what God is saying in a secular venue that the church may be hard of hearing towards. So I will periodically list some ideas I have or have come across that I’d love to see communities of faith implement. Here is the first list:
Partner with a community service organization to winterize homes for low income households in your community.
Bring back old school food poundings: taking food to the homes of low-income families or individuals throughout the year.
Develop a group of writers, photographers, and videographers to help senior adults tell their life stories. Then distribute the finished product to their extended families.
Open your church facility for 12-step groups from the community. Supply the coffee…
Start an “Off the Grid” month. Do your services completely acoustic… I mean COMPLETELY ACCOUSTIC. Encourage the congregation to bike to church every Sunday, car share, walk, or meet in smaller community groups with an outline of the pastoral sermon. Pastors bike to work for the whole month…. INSTALL BIKE RACKS ON YOUR PROPERTY. Have a picnic outdoors at the end of the month. Doing this will encourage better listening for the crowd and the beauty of human voices in collective harmony will be another example of simple beauty. It also reinforces our understanding of the beauty of the natural world and the loss we have in not living according to its rythms.
Use part of the church property to plant a community garden. Open the garden up to anyone willing to take part and then have a support team to water and care for it. Ask congregants that have a space to donate a portion to be taken to the local farmer’s market on a weekly basis.
Start a “Wind Down Cafe.” Rent a restaurant in a local entertainment/bar spot, and open it from 3am to 6am to be used by the employees of night spots to relax and “wind down” after work. Supply live music, beverages. simple food, and people to talk to. Make friends with these folks.
Buy pizzas from pizzarias when they close, and then take them to homeless folks on the street. (Thanks to my son, Baird, for this idea. He worked at John’s Pizza in the Westport community of Kansas City, and took all the pizza they were going to throw out at the end of the night and gave it out to homeless folks down the street.)
Provide a spot for local high school booster clubs or Quarterback clubs to hold their meetings. Set up video equiptment so parents can watch game films with coaches and players.
Hold car clinics for low income families where their vehicles can have regular maintenance done. Have experienced technicians on hand to assess the mechanical “health” of their vehicles.
Partner with another community of faith on several “Habitat for Humanities” projects.
Use previously used materialy whenever possible in building projects.
Google “Meet Up Groups” in your community. Develop one that meets either in your building, or has members of your faith community.
Open a coffee house somewhere in your community other than in your building.
This list is just a start. If you have experienced a great, effective idea for being the body of Christ in your community, comment on this site. Creative ideas designed to engage the culture are especially welcomed.