CONNECT- Verb- 1. Bring together or into contact so that a real or notional link is established
The very first step in building our ministry is stepping out and CONNECTing. That contact and real link between our ministry and the world outside the four walled buildings we call the “church” is vital to the strength, viability and longevity of our ministry. As a ministry we seek to Connect on three specific levels.
Our first goal in CONNECTing is to CONNECT to COMMUNITY. The church in years past was a gathering place for community and much of what happened in the community filtered through the local church. Today in our modern society that is not the case today. Today the church, many times, is an after thought in the midst of the ever increasing busyness of life that we have created for ourselves. Many times the church tries to force itself onto people as a center of community activity by trying to host events and activities that they think will draw people in but the reality is they are only fooling themselves. With so many churches, schools and other organizations in communities such as ours there is always someone doing something bigger, better and more interesting and it is near impossible to schedule something that is not conflicting with something else. So as a ministry our first step is to find where we can connect to the community and support it, work with it instead of competing with it.
Our Second CONNECT goal is to CONNECT with INFLUENCE. We identify people with influence, church leaders, school leaders, organization leaders or students and parents who are active and plugged into the specific social groups, in order that we can gain access to open doors where there once was none. Many times ministries have no opportunities because they have no trust. CONNECTing with INFLUENCE builds trust and helps us identify the next step of connection.
Finally we CONNECT with NEED. This step is important to identify. It may not mean a financial need and we are not just talking about poor but real need. We seek to identify areas within our community and our church where there is a void. For example in a church I served in many of the students had absentee fathers and what they needed more than anything was male role models and mentoring. The men’s ministry of the church stepped up and started a mentoring group. It was revolutionary in the lives of kids.
Once we have a CONNECTion we are ready to move on to the next step PARTNER