Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

10 Ways to Make an Impact in Your Community

Minnie McNeil, who co-founded and advises a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing housing and supportive services in Coatesville, Pa., says every member everywhere has the opportunity to demonstrate God’s love in a variety of ways, regardless of if they live in the city or country, in an affluent or poor area. She offers 10 tips for starting a ministry and making an impact:

1. Pray for guidance.

2. Identify the vision, mission and goals of the church; available resources, including leadership; and capability and potential to sustain outreach ministry. 

3. Plan to have ongoing community involvement, not a one-time event.

4. Assess and research the strengths and needs of the community. Don’t assume.

5. Talk with community members. Find out who the “gatekeepers” of the community are, and solicit their input.

6. Develop community partnerships with local service providers, organizations and others engaged in service to the community. Together everyone achieves more. 

7. Research the community’s assets, and see how you can help build on them.

8. Be intentional. Tailor programs/services to specific needs and concerns of the community and its residents.

9. A failure to plan is a plan to fail. This is not just a cliché; it is a reality.

10. Don’t forget to offer prayer. We are often more hesitant to offer prayer than people are to receive it. Prayer is seen as a real extension of benevolence and our perceived value of the individual.


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