impACTion Encourages Churches to Serve their Communities
Colorado Baptists are intentionally reaching out to their communities through impACTion. The emphasis on serving the community parallels the 2014 God’s Plan for Sharing (GPS) Season of Service and Day of Service established by the North American Mission Board.
impACTion can be summed up with the tagline, “Serving our communities with Christ’s love”. To that end, the emphasis focuses on three areas: the individual Christian, the local church, and the community.
“People who are involved in some kind of community ministry will be far more prone to share the Gospel,” said Steve Allen, pastor of Highview Baptist Church in Woodland Park. “(Serving) gives them more confidence. It allows them to see firsthand the impact that can be made. And they have encouragement from fellow Christians,” he said.
As a pastor, Allen encourages other pastors to include impACTion in their church plans because serving the community changes those doing the serving. “I have seen their faith grow as they observe others share Christ in a group setting doing community ministry, and to gain the knowledge and confidence to be able to share Christ one on one,” he said.
Through impACTion the local church member is challenged to increase awareness of needs in the community, experience the joy of serving, and become passionate about the love of Christ. Second, the local church will gain an increased compassion for their community, experience God being glorified through their service, and become connected in their community.
When the local church invests in its community, the community will increase appreciation of the church, experience the church relationally, and become open to God’s message of love.
In The Externally Focused Church, authors Eric Swanson and Rick Rusaw said, “One of the most effective ways to reach people with the message of Jesus Christ today is through real and relevant acts of service. Honest, compassionate service can restore credibility to the crucial message we have to share. To tell the truth, we must show the truth.”
“If the church does not know the needs of its community, it will never write its story on the hearts of the people in the community. And if the community does not know a church is willing to serve it, it will never write its story on the hearts of the people in the church,” said Scott Bailey, pastor of Majestic Baptist Church in Pueblo West and impACTion Team member.
“impACTion helps the local church look at their communities in a different way,” said Claudean Boatman, impACTion Team member and State Literacy Missions Coordinator. “There is no single activity or project that will work in every community. Instead, God matches the gifts and abilities of willing servers with the needs around the church.”
Common needs churches can meet include food, medical care, car maintenance, tutoring, English lessons, and home maintenance for the elderly. The list is limitless.
Some churches may see needs that take resources greater than they have to meet the needs. Ron Clement, Team Leader of Church Enrichment and Evangelism for Colorado Baptists, encourages such churches to apply for funds that are available through his office. Money is one of the resources we can provide to help churches reach their communities, he said. Church and ministry leaders from around Colorado have developed written materials to assist Colorado Baptists in reaching their communities through service.
Churches that are new to serving their communities are encouraged to work with other churches with community service experience. Cornerstone Church in Lone Tree has several experienced teams who are willing to partner with churches around the state as they venture into ministering to their communities. According to Worship and Education Minister William Kretzer, the church is committed to working together within their church and with other Colorado Baptists.
To share your church’s events and to get additional resources go to: http://www.impaction.org.Leave a reply →