I know what you’re thinking – this is gonna be another article about how the church can suck more money out of the government and use city officials to lobby for politics which don’t represent the people.
I promise, it’s not about that.
On The Borough, we talk a lot about how the church has to revitalize its relationship with civic leaders if it’s going to impact the city in meaningful ways. After all, local government leads the charge in city development and relief.Local #government leads the charge in city development and #relief. Click To Tweet
But what exactly does a partnership between the church and city officials look like? It’s not something we do very often, and the few examples we have are often just façades to make money for the entities involved (not all, admittedly, but we gotta be real here).
This article is going to hit on one side of the relationship. Another article will come soon which will define what the church can do to help local representatives.
But in the mean time, here are ways that civic leaders can serve the church:
Get Church Leaders on the Same Page about the City
The common way church leaders think about helping the city goes like this, “If I preach really good sermons, then the people will come. Then they’ll get saved, and we can help them with their lives.”
There are a few of problems with this.
- It shows a complete disregard for meeting people where they’re at. Jesus went to the homes of prostitutes and tax collectors. We should be willing to do the same.
- It shows that talking is all we have to offer. We’re the church! The Body of Christ! We also have to actually do things to help people.
Most church leaders don’t even know what the problems of the city are, let alone know how to help.
As civic leaders, we can meet with church leaders and tell them what issues need addressing. You can help church leaders understand that the cyclical mental health problems can be helped through consistent shepherding. The affordable housing problem would change if the church would invested in properties for low-rent. Gentrification would be eased if the church would be willing to cross racial lines to love others.
Providing a Network
As a civic leader, you couldn’t have gotten where you are without knowing people.
One of the biggest problems in the church is that we are so staunchly autonomous, that we don’t even know how to network – sharing resources and ideas.
Local government representatives can help bridge that gap by connecting key people who would otherwise never have met.
Then maybe we could actually get some stuff done.We're the #church! The Body of #Christ! We have to actually do things to help people. Click To Tweet
One of the best ways that a civic leader can help the church is to mentor faithful men and women in the church to be future city officials.
Churches need to be able to help people develop in all areas of life – citizenship included. And those who are made to lead cities, states, and nations need the proper mentoring to gain the right skills.
Partner with churches to provide this mentoring so that those individuals can grow in faith, life, and leadership.
Make the Community Aware of Church Initiatives
But no one knows about it, so their community event goes nowhere.
Help church planters and other church leaders by spreading the word. I’m sure non-profits in the area would want to know about a new homeless outreach, soup kitchen, life-rebuilding program, addiction support group, and the like.
Again, it comes down to networking. Spread the word, so that Christ’s good work can be done to many more.
Church and City
The partnership between church and civic leaders is essential. Without it, you’ll either have a bunch of altruistic people who aren’t working together or a bunch of selfish people who can’t relate to the community.
Figure out how to make a network work in your city.
Do it out of love for Jesus. That’s how you change a community.