Your Ministry Doesn't Begin at Church

Photo by Lauren Wellicome (Creative Commons)Photo by Lauren Wellicome (Creative Commons)How do you convince people that they are called to serve God, not just at church, but in the places where they live, eat, work, sleep, and play?

How do you help people understand that ministry doesn’t start at church, but in their everyday lives?

An Adaptive Challenge

That’s what our adaptive challenge was (and continues to be) at my church, Northminster Presbyterian Church.  I wrote about that here.  Our adaptive challenge revolves around helping people discover that ministry begins in the midst of their own lives and relationships, not with church programs.

This is an adaptive challenge, and not a technical one, because there are yet no ready answers to that question.  There are no experts who can tell a church how to get its members to change the way they think about where ministry begins.

Our Attemt to Address this Challenge

When we started Neighborhood Connection Groups, it was our way of trying to help people make the connection between their everyday lives and the unique ministry to which God is calling each of them.

The Neighborhood Connection Groups process was designed to address our adaptive challenge by beginning with where people live, work, recreate, and generally spend their time.  In other words, if the adaptive challenge is to help people discover that ministry begins where they are, then the place to start with Neighborhood Connection Groups is in those places where they are already living their lives.

A person’s Neighborhood Connection Group could be an activity or a club that he or she joins for the first time, or it could be an activity in which he or she is already active.  As a result, participants are set up from the start to begin to discover that God can work through them, not only at church, but also out in the world where they are living their day to day lives.

Are you involved in a neighborhood activity that you could consider a "Neighborhood Connection Group"?

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