Effective Community Outreach and Small Groups
There is power in groups. Especially small groups that draw their power from God.
You are leading a group of people who God has put together for a purpose. It is important to consider the abilities and needs of each of your members. It is also important to view the potential you have as a group.
Your small group has the potential to be and do significantly more than they could as individuals operating on their own.
Power of Groups
Why do people working together have the potential to be and do more than they could as individuals? Here are three reasons:
One key purpose of participating in a small group is the encouragement you give and receive. As each of us strives to live a life that radiates Jesus, there will be times we will need to do things that are uncomfortable and go through some difficult times.
The encouragement we receive from each other not only helps keep us going through our challenges with joy, it also draws small group members closer together.
…and let us consider [thoughtfully] how we may encourage one another to love and to do good deeds, not forsaking our meeting together [as believers for worship and instruction], as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more [faithfully] as you see the day [of Christ’s return] approaching.
Hebrews 10:24-25 (AMP)
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow; but woe to him who is alone when he falls, and doesn’t have another to lift him up.
2. Friendships Makes Each Other Better
The friendships we form in the small group challenge each member to continually be better in our Christian walk. This really becomes clear when accountability partnerships form within the group.
Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens his friend’s countenance.
3. Strengths Work Together
Encouragement helps us do the right thing, even when uncomfortable or difficult. Group friendships challenge us to be the best we can be.
Another benefit of operating as a small group is that God put the members of your small group together who have gifts, talents, experiences and knowledge that complement each other. By serving together, a small group can have a tremendous impact that goes beyond what can be imagined.
Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to use them accordingly.
Romans 12:6a (AMP)
Tackling Community Problems
One of the ways a small group can demonstrate God’s love to the local community is to serve others in the community. Tackle a problem that is affecting your community. Help solve a community problem or ease the pain for those who are impacted by it.
Your small group can make a positive difference and the community will take notice as you do.
Examples of Community Problems
A person doesn’t have to look hard to find many community problems. Here is a list of several that are in almost any community:
Child abuse and neglect
Chronic health issues
Mental health issues
Need for clean drinking water
Ways to Get Involved in Solving Community Problems
Are you aware of what community problems you should tackle? Do you know how to find opportunities for your small group to get involved?
If not, consider following these seven steps:
- Have your entire small group membership and your small group coach pray about your group’s involvement in addressing community problems.
- Poll your group members for areas they have a passion for and for anything they believe God is telling them on the topic.
- Discuss the poll as a group and decide on one or two community problems the group would like to work on.
- Identify a group member who will be the coordinator.
- Identify an opportunity your group can take part in. This can be done by contacting people you know, your church leaders, related charities and nonprofit organizations, United Way local office, government offices (social services, schools, etc.), and searching volunteer opportunity websites (VolunteerMatch, Points of Light, etc.). I do not recommend signing up for any difficult or long-term commitments at first.
- Discuss the opportunities as a group and decide on the first one the group will carry out. Make sure there is a solid commitment by enough members to participate because it will not be good testimony not to show up and put in a 100 percent effort.
- Have fun as you help your community.
Question: What are some experiences you had in tackling community problems as a small group? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
This article originally appeared here.