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Churches have always been places of togetherness: spiritual watering holes, where diverse community members sacrifice a bit of their day to join in the pursuit of a greater purpose. Above all, churches inspire solidarity, and I can think of no better place than the church to further cultivate that same unity by planning activities that benefit local communities. By providing a forum for teamwork, churches back the words preached every Sunday with concrete action, and serve as fountains feeding the roots of communal growth. Here are a few ways that congregations can get involved locally, and do some real good.

Host a Conference

Meetings focused on faith are common fare for churches, but stepping outside the bounds of a typical revival meeting could draw a wider audience. For example, a seminar on managing personal finances, or a meeting centered around strengthening family ties might appeal to those who aren’t regular churchgoers. Holding a free event that is not only informative, but interesting is an excellent way to build strong connections community-wide.

Schedule a Community Cleanup

Trash that clutters alongside roads, vacant lots strewn with junk, gardens overgrown with weeds: such  scenes are perfect candidates for a community-wide clean-up. No one likes to see their home looking rundown; after all, a well-maintained neighborhood demonstrates that residents care about their living spaces. But it can be difficult for any one community member to beautify a public area without help, which is why it’s a fantastic idea to gather a group, and get rid of garbage.  

Offer Free Services

A church’s membership isn’t just some faceless conglomeration; it’s made up of individuals, each with their own unique talents and skills. Volunteers can use their abilities to assist community members with various projects.  From babysitters to accountants, to doctors and every occupation in between; chances are, someone in your congregation has the expertise to fill in where your own knowledge is lacking (and vice versa). Providing such aid for free is a great way to embody the ideals that your church professes.  

What you choose as an activity isn’t necessarily important; what matters is that you’re making the effort, setting aside your differences, strengthening bonds, and joining forces to benefit everyone in the community.