Some friends in New Zealand are leading the way in community-wide social change. Last October they organised a month-long event called Church in Action or [CIA]. One of the successful projects was very simple. Volunteers would take an empty grocery bag and fill it up with food and bring in to the Church/Community Centre. Over the course of the month, Community Link raised enough food to assist people for six months.
Community Link Trust is an initiative of Activate Church, and so the church had a special service during October. They had a 10 minute church service – their shortest ever! But people came in their work clothes and around 500 people converged on a local primary school where they washing buildings, primed tress and maintained the lawns and gardens. They called this their “muck in day”. They also took up a “thanksgiving” offering during the month and raised another $3,000 that is used throughout the year to help people who are struggling. Some of those who the Church/Community Link have helped, used the money to pay a high energy bill or to buy glasses.
We find it is often the simple things that make a profound difference.
On the “muck in day” Activate Church split everyone into teams who would go out and do specific tasks and then they all came together afterwards for freshly made scones, music, games and a Barbecue with members of the community. One of the teams went on the direction of the local Council and police who identified areas that needed repainting, including alleyways and other public spaces. There was also a team based back at the church who built garden boxes and letter boxes. After the morning working, they made 10 garden boxes and 10 letter boxes. Those were to be used by another team within the Trust (Property Link) who provide of service of garden work and outdoor property maintenance to those in need in the community. Property Link were able to give those garden boxes and letter boxes away to families in the community.
Our friends, Sheridyn Rodgers who leads Activate Church and Ray Pickett who heads up Community Link, said they underestimated how the day would “build the community within the community”. Ray also said that there was a positive vibe that impacted the church community profoundly.
This group of people are changing their community and their own lives by simple acts of kindness. The thing that blows me away is that it is one thing after another, layer upon layer. I can’t help but think that this constant approach will make a continuous and profound difference in their city of Hamilton.
Just a thought.
In these three messages, Ian discusses a new form of the church that is refocused on the Kingdom of God and on transformation. This reformulation has the potential to significantly change the way we live and think about our communities and cities, and the part we can play in their destiny.
These messages have the potential to inspire and assist you to bring change and transformation to your mind, your city, your community and your nation.
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