Encourage long-term commitments to make a difference.
Start a new initiative through which each small group in your church commits to a long-term service project to help the community.
Momentum Christian Church in Garfield Heights, Ohio, made community service a high priority for its “Mo Groups,” which have names like Captured, Ruckus and Shockwave and are scattered throughout the Cleveland area. Lead Minister Dan Smith has described the groups as ministry teams that meet weekly to eat, study Scripture, fellowship and engage in long-term service projects.
“It’s like a band of brothers you can serve with,” Smith says.
A group that met at Smith’s home worked with an assisted-living home that served mentally challenged individuals, regularly raked leaves for the elderly and cleaned up neighborhoods.
Todd Hronec, part of Smith’s group, grew up going to church, but was turned off by religion until he started going to Momentum in 2009. Other churches he went to, he says, were more about making money than helping people.
“When you really start going through the Bible, you learn that God wasn’t much of a just-sit-here-and-listen type of person,” Hronec says. “He was constantly sending people out to help those in the community. I believe that’s part of God’s work, and I think that’s the most important part.”