Tools and Resources
For Neighbourhood Initiatives
Commitment is key
All participants of a church fellowship can be accountable for how they follow Jesus where they live.
Each can make their own ‘covenant’ to ask of themselves, either individually or collectively with others, certain questions.
Who lives here?
What do they bring?
What matters to them?
Where is their pain?
Who can we join with?
How can I/we be a catalyst for good here? What is the Good News to my neighbour?
Characteristics of 'Fruitful' Neighbourhood Initiatives - seeing the impact of both good works and Good News
Confident and relevant sharing of the gospel message as part of the ministry
Equal prioritising of evangelism and social action
Strong teamwork and planning
An expectation of God's Spirit at work in the now
Integration with overall church vision and direction
Constant evaluation and willingness to stop what isn't working
All age volunteerism
Prayer, prayer, prayer..
Healthy structures and processes for decision-making
How is your Community Ministries doing?
Rating tool available here.
What is best for my neighbourhood?
DISCERN The neighbourhood - A simple tool
“Send her to church!” said one of the women in my group. We were all looking at a picture I had drawn for them, depicting a woman overwhelmed by the pain in her life. Read more
The parable of the Seeds (or the ground) tells us that not all our efforts will achieve successful outcomes. To a significant extent, fruitfulness or positive outcomes are the responsibility of the one who receives or is given the opportunity for ‘new life’. Read more
Guidelines for reviewing your community ministry
Knowing when to let go, 8 Characteristics of fruitful community ministries, Achieving outcomes... read more
Neighbourhood Initiative Principles.
The following is a list of possible principles that you may decide to highlight as part of what is important to you in forming and developing a Christian and church based response to your community. This is a complementary list to the Fruitfulness paper which has a focus on seeing the fruit of people coming to know Christ.
Church based / Integrated – that the church as a whole supports the ministry. This will be demonstrated by volunteerism, financial support and prayer. This will also mean that the activities fit within the wider focus and strategy of the church and come under the leadership of the church.
Community responsive – activities are based on what the community identify as their felt needs and interests. Community surveys, research, and other creative ways might be employed to discover what they community would like to see happening. Activities that are wanted by the community will see growth, strong attendance and responsiveness.
Empowering – that we treat people as equals and with dignity. We expect that all people bring skills and resources and find ways to meet needs that create mutual benefit for all. Creative ideas like time banking, veggie co-ops, community gardens etc, enable people to offer something for what they receive.
Wholistic – that we care for the whole person, physical, social and spiritual, without prioritising one over the other. We expect to see good works and proclamation of the gospel.
Gift based – using the gifts of the Spirit that people bring and developing activities around visions and passions that rise up within the congregation. This allows activities that are no longer being supported by giftedness, fruitfulness or passion to be let go and make way for new activities.
Incarnational – focussed on local neighbourhood and neighbours of our congregation. This focus might see people move intentionally into certain neighbourhoods to become part of them. This also focuses all church members to consider their own geographical neighbourhood, its services and resources and where they might be involved (eg school boards, neighbourhood watch groups etc) and how they are reaching their own neighbours for the kingdom. (read The Art of Neighbouring – Jay Pathak)
Asset based – we build on what people have. This takes into consideration what skills and resources the community already has and uses these to meet the communities needs. Reseach asset based community development. We value the diversity, culture, gifts, perspectives, of all ages and all peoples.
Listening – we not only hear what people want, but we continue to hear how they are experiencing what we do and we respond to their feedback.