As I mentioned in my previous post, my approach to planting churches and ministry in general can be summed up in this one statement: Ministry is best done toward a community, through community, and in community.
In this post, I’d like to tackle the second portion, the idea of doing ministry through community. I already covered the importance of ministering to a community, meaning you understand who it is God has called you to serve and reach in my previous post.
The idea of ministering through community, though, takes this a step further. In today’s ‘ministry world’ small groups have become widely used and implemented at churches of all sizes. Although small groups are a part of ministering through community, they are not the end all. Beginning a simple program will not accomplish something that must first be valued. This value is creating a culture of community in a church. The best way to discover if your church has or will have community is to ask these few questions:
- Do people in your church enjoy each other?
- Are people spending time with one another outside of church activities?
- Why do people come back to your church?
Although small groups can help create community, this must be something that happens even apart from small groups. It should happen before and after your services. Before and after meetings. It should be part of everything your church does. Jesus did not give the great message of the gospel to a stale, cold institution, He gave it to a life-breathing community of believers. Now, I understand just simply creating community will not grow your church or expand your impact in a specific community. But when you couple the idea of doing ministry through community toward a community, you now are creating community with a purpose: the purpose of reaching the lost. In my next post, I’ll address the idea of doing ministry in community (yes, that’s different then ‘through community).