5 Ways To Build Bonds With Community Leaders
Link your church and community so closely that they could be synonyms. Your church is your community, and your community is your church, so why not bridge the gap between church and business in your area? Connect with community leaders from all parts of your neighborhood to make a difference that lasts in this world.
Take your local influence to the next level by bearing these five C’s in mind when building connections that make a difference.
The only way to forge a genuine relationship with local businesses is through receptive conversation. Don’t approach local leaders with too much of a predetermined idea of what you think will happen, but discover what would benefit them through discussion.
While some city requirements might be blatantly obvious (think: newspaper headlines that shout youth violence or homelessness), others will be more subtle. Lend an ear to community leaders like teachers, small business owners, activists, and charitable organizations, to uncover their specific and unique needs.
Plastering a one-solution-fixes-all form of church help onto different and varied organizations makes your suggestions for assistance seem fake, rendering legitimate partnership unlikely. Show up for your community in the way they need you to through open communication and constructive discussion.
Before making any grand plans for the future, speak to community leaders as the real people they are.
You will uncover a central cause to fight for through conversations with community leaders. Being a leader of a community means striving to better the lives of your people, so pinpointing a goal you want to work towards or fight for will keep your direction clear through your partnership.
The cause will change depending on the partnership and could be anything from distributing food donations to struggling families, helping to improve sports in school through fundraising, or volunteering to spend time with elderly people in the community. Make sure you have a collective vision for your church.
This cause will reaffirm your partnership, keep you grounded in your mission, and reassure your congregation that it’s a bond worth maintaining.
Next, consider what resources each of you has to offer the other. Maybe the local school needs your help collecting back-to-school donations, or a local business needs help getting their new product off the ground. True collaboration comes from finding the middle ground between the needs of two groups.
In a model created by Common Ground Beaverton, they outline the four crucial elements of collaboration as relationship, trust, diversity, and inclusion. The bottom line is that building a relationship is essential when forming a collaboration that will last, as it is the most important foundational element.
They use the example of a church choir to illustrate each of their points. A church choir needs members who are friends outside of rehearsals and who you can trust to sing their part in shows. Similarly, a church choir thrives when it has a diverse selection of skills and includes everyone in the gospel.
Keep these principles in mind when you reach out to local leaders and businesses to ensure your collaborations are durable and genuine.
A true connection requires cooperation from both sides, so everyone has equal input and balanced power in the situation. Through mutual respect and benefits for all, two teams can cooperate to reach a common goal together. Cooperative interactions are at the center of partnership.
Facilitate this by assigning a church leader to be in control of managing each relationship, and ask that other community groups do the same. When you have a direct point of contact and a team of enthusiastic workers behind them, problems can be aired in a healthy and productive way.
Forbes outlines how cooperation is one of the most essential elements of strong leadership, alongside sharing and belonging. Forge a connection with roots that are deep and long-lasting when you share ideas, successes, goals, and the spotlight.
Keeping on track with your common goals is far easier when you cooperate with kindness and understanding.
How do churches help the community? Through supporting charitable projects, providing a place for people from all walks of life to meet, and offering a helping hand to those who have lost the way. While you may not think of your church as a business, it has many similarities and can help even more when partnered up locally.
Two heads are better than one, and together you can create projects that serve your community's specific needs in a way that works. Partner up whenever you can with schools, NGOs, sports clubs, and local businesses to keep your church involved and helping.
Your community needs your church, so get creative with your goals by teaming up with other community leaders.
Build a bold and vibrant community around your church by offering to help with every cause you support. Even business in the church can be tailored to support local companies, so think about where you are sourcing your supplies and goods. Every event and project has the chance for collaboration, so don’t let anything slip by.