7 Ways to Build Local Church Partnerships
Building church partnerships can extend your ministry’s reach, welcome newcomers, and offer support to organizations that need it. They may not know just how useful having a church partner will be, so you might have to do the initial reaching out. Ready to start building a church community?
Keep reading for our top seven partnership-boosting tips.
1. Leave Competition in the Past
Instead of competing with local organizations, try and join them! Not only will this save your ministry a truckload of time and resources, but it also combines your church with pre-existing structures in the community.
Church Fuel highlights that this is important for two reasons: One – it shows you genuinely care about the people you aim to serve (not just the headcount); Two – it demonstrates that your church is an active participant in the local neighborhood.
2. Get Creative With Fun Fundraising
Kill two birds with one stone by blending fundraising with useful ways to help your community. Setting up a volunteer squad to do things like Saturday afternoon car wash or dog-walking service will show your community that you have identified areas to help.
When a team of enthusiastic volunteers runs these fundraising events, it gets the public thinking about your ministry. Instead of gunning hard for donations, why not try a softer approach with a snappy hashtag for your mission they can search for later displayed on a poster?
3. Open Your Church Doors
If the local church feels exclusionary or non-welcoming, newbies won’t be rushing to join. Every church develops a reputation in the local area, and having an open-door policy encourages those curious people to pop their heads in, and hopefully come back again. Read our blog on keeping newcomers.
The same goes for local businesses and events. Your church will be far more likely to receive an invitation to join community events when people feel accepted. Don’t be that church that makes newcomers feel awkward and nervous – celebrate them instead!
4. Lend a Hand at Community Events
Whatever the occasion, reach out within your community and offer a helping hand from the goodness of your heart. Many organizations will be thrilled to receive news of your generosity and help and will welcome you with open arms.
Ask your volunteers to help the wider community with whatever they need, whether it's making sandwiches for a family picnic in the park or serving drinks at a school football game. These acts of kindness won’t go unnoticed and will build community bonds too.
5. Support Local Businesses
As a church leader, you probably make bold claims about supporting your community through thick and thin. But do you practice what you preach? Instead of choosing to save a dime and bulk buying your resources, shop locally and support small businesses.
Doing this will partner you up with people all over your local neighborhood, building connections and friends in every corner of the city. Church partnerships like this are a no-brainer as they funnel church donations back into the community.
6. Ask Your Church Members
Wondering how to get your church involved in the community or how to make your community better? Ask your congregation! The chances are that they will have causes close to their heart that require some help – they are probably happy to share.
Maybe one member already volunteers at a local food bank or knows their child’s school needs a helping hand. Forming an official relationship is far easier when you already have a connection on the other side, so don’t forget to ask for their opinions.
7. Contact NGOs, Schools, and Hospitals
Research local charities and NGOs that support a cause in alignment with your vision, and reach out. It really is as simple as that. Maybe they won’t need anything, or maybe they are already supported by another church, but let them know you are there to help if they need it.
GuideStar is an online search engine for charities and nonprofits, so check out organizations in your area that are of interest to your people and build new church partnerships today. Schools and hospitals might need some assistance too!
Collaboration: The Key to Successful Ministry
God called all Christians to work together, unite in the face of differences and thrive. Building church partnerships within your local community is the number one way to do this, as it makes your church more accessible to outsiders while making a difference where it's needed.
You might be wondering, How can a church impact the community? But the truth is that even a small church can achieve incredible things. All it takes is an open mind, an open door, and dedication on the part of your volunteers to support your community and build church partnerships.
Put vulnerable groups first in all your missions to show you are protecting the needy. Then, make sure your church partnerships align with your vision to make a splash that makes sense to your congregation and facilitates positive changes that are close to your heart.