Building Community Through Service

How does one build community within a church body? How do we learn to trust one another? How can we get beyond the surface?

Some of the ways our church seeks to build community is through small groups, dinner clubs, a luncheon between services once-a-month, and a break between services. Recently, we’ve been serving outside our church more often, which part of the goal to build our internal community by serving others.

Serving others outside our church, together, can be fun sometimes, but it can also be challenging, uncomfortable, eye-opening, and heart-breaking. While we do need places that are safe, we also need places that take us out of our comfort zone. Some of the most meaningful friendships in my life were developed when we served together in situations where we had to lean on each other -and- God because we needed to. So often, it is easy to stay a safe distance from others, even those in our church. Yet, moments of conflict and uncomfortable situations present an opportunity for more depth and trust.

Serving others also makes us think of others, and reminds us that we can benefit others. While that sounds simple enough, I’ve had plenty of times of discouragement in my life, and in those times, it’s tempting to be self-absorbed and forget what I can contribute to the lives of others.

So, with these things in mind, we have:
Put together roadtrips to hand out homeless gear to Missouri and Denver
Partnered with a few local service agencies
Volunteered together for Make A Difference Day
Joined a local nonprofit volunteer coordinator group
A planned service project over spring break through Denver Urban Ministries
The beginnings of a service group where we get together and volunteer most weeks

I’ll elaborate more on some of these in future posts, and will include what we’ve learned. If you have any suggestions to offer or questions, please join the discussion.