"There should be a difference in the community because the church exists. And if it left for some reason, there should be a void that's left."
Hunger, homelessness, illiteracy and medical needs are common problems in every community in America. Some look the other direction. Some feel helpless. Yet, there are churches throughout North America chipping away at the need one person—one relationship—at a time. It is through these relationships that people see, hear and receive the gospel in relevant and effective ways.
It is important to take time to discover and understand the unique needs within your community. Explore the physical community, listen and learn from people living and working in the area and seek God's guidance by prayer-driving and prayer-walking the neighborhood.
1. Explore the physical community
In what condition are the buildings, homes, schools, churches and playgrounds?
To whom are stores and businesses marketing their products?
Who is out and about in community (children, teenagers, senior adults)?
What demographic breakdowns are observable?
Where do people gather in groups?
How do people move around the community (car, bus, taxi, Uber, walking)?1
2. Listen to and learn from people in the community
Talk to several people as you explore the community about what they perceive as the community's best assets and greatest needs.
Conduct a demographic study of the community. One source is Jamie Kelly at Lexington Baptist Association. She can be reached by email, LBA@MyLBA.org, or by phone at (803) 356-2543, and can provide you will demographics reports in any area you choose. Another source is Ed Stetzer's Exegete Your Culture (free) resource guide.
Talk to local government officials about the needs they want to address in the community.
Ride with local police officers to explore their observations and understanding about the community.
Talk with other area church leaders about how they understand the needs of the community.
Talk with school officials and teachers about the needs of the community they see through the children in their classrooms.
Visit the local library to discover recent community history.2
3. Seek God's guidance through prayer-driving and prayer-walking
Intentionally drive and walk through the area while looking with God's eyes.
Pray for local congregations as you pass places of worship.
Pray for children and families as you pass schools and playgrounds.
Pray for the homeless, the abused, the addicted, the lonely and the afraid, as you pass through the neighborhood.
Ask God to show you needs you and your congregation can impact.
Many of the needs of your community can be traced back to insufficient education. Heart4Schools is a proactive approach to dealing with potential future needs within a community.
Visit the Heart4Schools site here!
Coming Soon! Please check back with us at a later time...
Violent crime, delinquency, soaring medical costs; they’re big, overwhelming issues. But they all have roots in something simple—reading. Economic security, access to healthcare and the ability to actively participate in civic life all depend on an individual’s ability to read. At LBA, we believe literacy is a powerful tool for flourishing communities, and your church can help. It’s as easy as opening a book.
Access to health care is a growing concern across North America. For many, it is an everyday obstacle. Bringing health care where it is needed has been a pillar of missions for many years. Every church has the opportunity to bring medical and dental care to their community and support those without adequate health care. Your church can bring relief to people through the Send Relief Mobile Dental Clinic. Provide health screenings, dental procedures and other services that leave a lasting impression on those in need and give you an opportunity to deliver lasting hope through the gospel.
Lexington Baptist Association is accepting financial donation which will be used to support disaster relief efforts to help people affected, providing physical help as well as emotional and spiritual assistance to people in crisis and sharing the hope of the Gospel. One hundred percent of your donation goes toward our response efforts.
You may send a donation by check to Lexington Baptist Association with a note for "Relief" by mail to: 255 Two Notch Rd, Lexington, SC 29073.
The Lexington Baptist Association is registered as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Contributions to the Lexington Baptist Association are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law. Our tax identification number is 57-0473820.
For questions, please email us at LBA@MyLBA.org
Sources: 1. Adapted from Sean Benesh, "10 Ways to Exegete Your City" | 2. Chuck Lawless, "10 Ways to Read Your Community" | Some information on this page was gathered from and inspired by namb.net.