Restoring Value to the Community

Every statistic tells us that the church in America today is becoming more and more marginalized and less and less influential. We don’t need another survey to tell us that fewer and fewer people feel the church can help them.

I strongly believe that our communities need the church. They need what the church has to offer. They need the assets and resources of the church. But most communities and most people in our communities do not feel the same way. They see the church as something to be tolerated but not really valued or crucial to the warp and woof of the community.

Why is this so? It hasn’t always been this way. There was a time when the church was the center of community life and activity. What has happened since then? What must the church do to reclaim its place of importance in the heart of its community? Even more so, what must the church become in order to be recognized as a valued asset to the community once again?

I would love to hear your thoughts and feelings.

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One thought on “Restoring Value to the Community

  1. For others to see the value first. I don’t want church to be the place I go to for comedy night, or as a YMCA for the community. There’s probably nothing wrong with any of that, but I and everyone else can get that elsewhere. How is church special to the community? And is that seen?

    To be a valued asset, we must serve the community. In extraordinary ways. To really love each other, no matter where they are, no matter how messy. I’d link to something I read awhile back on ‘Church for Men Florida’ blog but apparently it’s offline or something… you can see google’s cache of it here but a few snippets now that I look that over:

    “The truly holy people I’ve met in my life are really interesting people. They’re a mix of the most incredible godliness and at the same time, the most unbelievable earthiness. I know a woman who curses like a sailor, but she’s the most holy woman I know. She is! I’m not kidding. We’ve created this image of what holiness looks like that’s just nonsense. Good holy people probably drink too much some times, and have colorful language, and there’s plenty of room in the Bible to see people like that. We have to see life for what it is, entirely more complicated then simple. Spirituality is not simple; it’s complicated. It gets messy sometimes. ”

    “The church wasn’t created to be a museum for saints but a hospital for sinners.”

    “A while back, an ex-gang member got baptized at our church. He fell in love with Jesus and turned from his old lifestyle. But after several months at the church, he stopped attending. When we asked him why he stopped attending, he answered: “I had the wrong idea of what church was going to be like. When I joined the church, I thought it was going to be like joining a gang. You see, in the gangs we weren’t just nice to each other once a week-we were family.”

    That killed me because I knew that what he expected is what the church was intended to be. It saddened me because I realized that the gangs paint a better picture of loyalty and family than the local church body does.”

    “If other churches, ministries, communities aren’t talking about you, there’s a reason.

    If people aren’t discussing your cause, your movement or your ministry, there’s a reason.

    The reason is that you’re boring. And you’re probably boring on purpose. You do boring ministry because that’s safer. You do boring ministry in safe places and to safe people because to do otherwise would be nuts. You do boring ministry because that’s what the elders/deacons/committee wants. That boring ministry staff/volunteers? They’re perfectly well qualified…

    You don’t get unboring for free. Remarkable costs time and money and effort, but most of all, remarkable costs a willingness to be wrong. ”

    I also liked a little bit from this: What if our identity as the church was that we did life together with these people? We were friends, raised our kids together, helped the poor / sick / lonely together, were being transformed together, and…dare I say it…had fun together? I think that’s an extremely attractive vision of church.

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