Is it just me or have churches stopped reaching out to their surrounding communities? I recently went to a networking function that was supposed to be a Q&A about family activities in the area. As it turned out, it was about a newcomer pastor, who had an idea of holding church bible studies in the home. I was a little disappointed that we didn’t discuss the zoo, art museums, water parks, or craft fairs.
Once I got passed my initial pissiness and dread, I started to listen. I even became engaged enough to ask questions. Fancy that. I was hopeful that the speaker would soon talk about communities and outreach programs and even how to get entire families back in the church as a whole. But no. Not at all, I was disappointed. The speaker only focused on organizing bible study groups in various strangers’ homes. He also discussed branching out each group once it reached 15 members. At that point I just stopped listening.
Instead, my mind wandered to questions such as; is this it, bible study? What, no friendships meals or clothes donations? How about a book drive or literacy programs? I spoke with the speakers’ wife and she saved him. She had an agenda of her own. Apparently the couple and their family have been visiting area churches. A facility for deprived children sparked her attention and mine. She wanted to do a book drive. I promptly gave her my card and told her to count me in. I am always game for promoting reading and getting kids and parents engaged in books and literature. I felt relieved. All the negative vibe seemed to float away.
Don’t get me wrong, I truly believe that churches are a good thing. And there are many who willingly reach out to their communities and help. Perhaps it’s the larger churches that are more focused on the business of building a shiny new church, rather than have as much community involvement. What are your thoughts?