8 Steps To Help Your Church Transform its Neighbourhood

by
Matt Bird

Churches are uniquely placed to transform their neighbourhoods. While official authorities can sometimes struggle to connect, the Church has proved its success for decades.

From the early days of the Salvation Army to today’s initiatives, including Street Pastors, there is a history of success when local churches work in their communities.

At NAYBA, we are passionate about providing the resources and guidance to help your church find the most effective way to impact your neighbourhood. As well as dealing with our worldwide team, we have two effective ways to help you discern your church’s calling.

First, there is our NAYBA Transform eBook, which is packed with tried and tested approaches from churches around the world. With fascinating insights, your church will be better prepared to impact your neighbourhood.

Second, there’s the FREE distance learning Transformation Course. Designed to add substance to our Transform eBook, you will walking through each chapter, with interactive reading, listening, observing, reflecting and quiz steps.

After years of practice and research, here are NAYBA’s 8 Steps to Transforming Your Community…

1. Knowing your why

Do your and your church know your ‘why’? Clarity about the Biblical basis and motivation for church-led community transformation is critically important so that your expectations are God’s expectations. Once you know your ‘why’ you will need discernment!

2. Discerning what to do

Local churches want to know what to do in their neighbourhood. But it’s not always easy as there can be many needs within your area. Prayerfully asking for guidance is essential. Practically, there is the NAYBA Community Transformation Pathway, which is a five-question journey to help you discern what Jesus wants you to do in your neighbourhood or city.

3. Learning from others

Stepping out on your own can lead to many hours of time being spent without outcomes. That’s where NAYBA Recognised Projects can really help. Using them means you can access ‘off the shelf’ programmes and adapt them for your own neighbourhood. NAYBA Recognised Projects are tried and tested models so they increase your effectiveness and avoid you having to ‘reinvent the wheel’.

4. Strengthening your partnerships

Local churches are increasingly developing unity for the purpose of community transformation. Often, a neighbouring church will have access to people with the experience your community needs. NAYBA’s Church Unity Ladder helps local churches understand the relationship they have with one another, the impact that has on the neighbourhood and how they can step up to the next rung of unity for transformation.

5. Praying for transformation

While we may have good intentions, all church projects needs prayer and God’s guidance to succeed. The Civic Prayer Breakfast model offers a five-step process for bringing together church leaders and civic leaders of all faiths and none to pray to Jesus for the well-being of your community.

6. Measuring your impact

How well is your church-led project really impacting its neighbourhood? To understand, it is important to measure social impact. The NAYBA Impact Audit is a five-phase process that enables local churches to work together to provide evidence that ‘faith is a force for good’. This results in greater impact through increased influence, collaboration and resources.

7. Replicating what works

If your local church runs a brilliant community project that other local churches might also be interested in running, why not intentionally replicate it? NAYBA’s Replicate programme helps local churches develop four benefits and build eight capabilities that enable you to replicate your model through other local churches.

8. Transformational business

Helping someone find work gives them hope and purpose as well as an income. The Church has an opportunity to become a key driver in building businesses, which not only inspires the emerging entrepreneur but the entire community as the enterprise grows. This is one of the most powerful ways local churches can transform their neighbourhoods.

Churches spend many hours discussing plans, but may then find it difficult to get ideas off the ground. If you want to know more, download the Transform eBook now and find out more about the Transformation Course here.

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