…or think of your church to be more precise?
Do they think of a building? A problem (noise? parking!) Or do they think of a group of faithful friends?
How would you like your neighbourhood to think of your church community?
Here in Dagenham and Redbridge the neighbourhood tends to know us as the LifeLine Community. We don’t have a church building as such so over the years we have built friendships around connecting points. These include the school gates, our coffee shop, the community centre, and the school where we meet on a Sunday.
Whether you have a building or not, we all know that local people aren’t inclined to turn up to a church meeting. It is up to us to go and meet them where they are at, to show them that we care. That way, they get to know the church as a caring community, and not a building.
The trouble is, once we start to show care for individuals, we end up encountering their world and their issues. We could retreat – but the love of God compels us to engage.
Here in Dagenham, we are faced with serious knife crime and epidemics of obesity, anxiety and loneliness. We can’t avoid it once we move beyond superficial meetings into real relationship with local people.
You’ve probably heard the phrase, ‘people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care’.
If you’d like to be better at bridging the gap into your local community, get in touch.