This post is the next in a series that explores each part of the IMPACT acrostic. Each post is designed to expand the meaning and usefulness of the actions indicated in the acrostic. It is important to remember that the IMPACT Blog gets its name from a keyword in our FBC mission statement, so as we explore the larger meaning behind our name, we are also exploring foundational goals and values of FBC Hartselle.
Influence the culture
Make disciples who make disciples
Permeate the Community
Act according to the leading of the Holy Spirit
Create awareness in the community
Transform individuals, families, and our neighborhoods
It’s Saturday night. I’m excited about tomorrow--Sunday morning! Friends are always in my Sunday School class. There’ll be hot coffee, pleasant conversation, and a sense of belonging. We’ll pray, study the Bible, and share what God is saying to us from the passage. Afterward on the way to the worship center, more friends will smile, shake my hand and ask, “How’s it going?”
As we all find a seat, a unique sound of various conversations around the room fills the place with a homey atmosphere real enough to almost touch.
Quickly the music starts and the crowd worships together, “singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in [our] hearts to God.” Colossians 3: 16b
After standing in honor of the reading of God’s Word and listening to our pastor share instruction, insight, and inspiration, we leave recharged and equipped for another week in the world.
These weekly experiences at church give us strength, encouragement, peacefulness, wisdom, and a taste of God’s presence.
How can we possibly keep this a secret?
You and I get to inhale all the blessings of worshiping with God’s people week after week. We can’t imagine living without it. But there is a growing number of people who aren’t aware of what they’re missing. Others who once knew it have, for some reason, allowed it to fade from memory. Something that we all might now realize, however, is that we are being selfish if we don’t figure out ways to get their attention and share our blessings with them as soon as possible.
We currently infuse our influence into the community through several ministries.
For almost 137 years, FBC has shined spiritual light into Hartselle and Morgan County:
Vacation Bible School
Weekday early education program for Pre-K children (PALS)
Upward basketball and cheerleading
Wheelchair Ramp Ministry
Hearts and Hands
ABIDE Women’s Ministry
Local mission projects through NARCOG and the Morgan Baptist Association.
Although the spiritual light hasn’t changed and certainly hasn’t gone out, the demographics and people’s worldviews keep shifting as time progresses.
What could FBCH do to expand and enhance awareness in our community?
Marketing is not a word most of us like to associate with churches. We have been so swamped with endless forms of advertising, the word has developed a negative connotation, but we all need to market ourselves. Whether we are a student, an executive, or an employee, proper “marketing” is how we develop a reputation. The better our reputation, the more influence we command. The wisdom of Proverbs 22: 1 is relevant to each of us and to our church.
“A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold.”
A good reputation involves more than avoiding a negative one. It means being a relevant and well-recognized contributor to people’s needs. It means standing out instead of blending into the community around us. Opportunities to accomplish such a goal might include activities like:
Assist local schools by providing needed supplies.
Serve in the concession stands at sports events.
Provide programs to assist senior adults outside FBC who lack sufficient family support.
Offer personal safety training by the local Police Department.
Become a liaison for people with counseling needs.
Lead Bible studies at local shelters and jails.
Conduct VBS outside the church at a park, schoolyard, or community center (BYBC).
Promote a prayer breakfast for government officials, school teachers, first responders.
Sponsor free Christian entertainment events.
No matter how you choose to work for the good of others, it is important to keep the ultimate goal in mind: help others to come to know Jesus. I found the following insightful thoughts at Church Leaders website: “The goal isn’t being known but making Him known. The goal isn’t people in seats, but lives transformed. The goal isn’t about being excellent for the sake of excellence, but to honor God with the gifts of creativity He’s given us. The goal isn’t marketing; it’s sharing.”
Our job is to help our church share the story in a way that captivates and engages people so much so that they will want to go and tell a friend…so that the Kingdom of Heaven may be full.
What other actions do you think might help us show our community some love?