Principles for Healthy Community Engagement

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How do we listen well when we connect with our church's neighbors and context? Everyone is talking about not doing harm when it comes to caring for needs in our place of ministry, but how do we ensure that?

Here is a one pager along with some resource links that will serve as a guide in establishing clear values for engaging well with our communities. The values are adapted from The Lupton Center, the source of the well known books Toxic Charity and Charity Detox.

 

Healthy Principles of Community Engagement

For the Local Church

(adapted from Lupton Center)

Here are five principles that can guide how you connect with the church’s context.  This is a resource to act as a values guide as a church connects with its community and/or context.

  1. Mutuality – God is already at work in our community! How do we discern what God is doing in community and come alongside of that? Here is a great resource: The New Parish: How Neighborhood Churches Are Transforming Mission, Discipleship and Community
  2. Participatory – All people are God’s image bearers! How do we recognize and build on the gifts of our members as well as our neighbors in our community? How do we listen well to the community as a result? Try this resource from author Joy F. SkjegstadIdentify Community Ministry Needs by Listening
  3. Holistic – Practicing integrated ministry! How do we ensure that we build a discipleship path when the ministry may be addressing physical needs?  A great, short devotional by Chris Wright is a wonderful resource for deacons who want to look at their calling through a strong word-deed perspective.
  4. Engaging the mind as well as the heart! How do we make sure that we help without hurting? The Lupton Center has an excellent video training that helps churches think through this well: Seeking Shalom
  5. Measuring impact – accomplishing the vision/mission! How do we ensure we are moving toward our desired future? Two recent posts on the Network give suggestions on how this can be accomplished:
     
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