Community Organizations Summary
Being an organization within the community is one of the best ways to bless our world. As followers of Jesus we have the chance to bring His Light into the places we serve. Building up a community with the organization you partner with, run, or volunteer for is the perfect time to listen to the many stories developing within the community. These stories often provide insight, and a way to connect to the bigger story: God’s story. Expecting a lesson from what the people in the community have to say, requires humility and leads to new ideas that benefit everyone. The end goal is to become a loving neighbour, but it isn’t something to rush, it takes time and patience. As we engage with others, God often reveals changes he is working on in our own lives. If we try to hurry, the development process of people and valuable lessons can get lost, for them and for us. There is a question that should be a constant guide leading the way through organizations work and that is: “How can we help?”
Sarnia EMC involvement
Sarnia Evangelical Missionary church interacts and works alongside many different organizations within the community. The important thing to keep in mind is that we want to have a city impact that parallels a kingdom mindset. When working alongside people and partnering with organizations we are fighting for the King, and joining him in his mission, as we serve. We must continually be open to learning how to respond to the needs of the people surrounding us while supporting the plan God has set since the beginning, what he wants for his world. There is a continuous call for help within the community we live, and understanding what it will determine the way it is approached by the church as we prepare to help. There is one story that should lead everything, and that is the biblical story. It has the answers to all situations. The people who call the SEMC their home are people who are discovering their story within God’s story and are being sent out into our community to help others to do the same.
You might ask, “How are we doing so far?” Great question. Here’s a few answers from some of our partner organizations:
- “SEMC is an amazing community partner that we are thankful to be involved with.” – Autism Ontario
- “SEMC participated in our Faith Build a couple years ago, they hosted our build teams when the East Street build was on-going and they will be a build partner again in 2018. They help us make our community stronger” – Habitat for Humanity
- “We have a strong partnership with the SEMC, and we feel very grateful to have such a support in our corner.” – Organization for Literacy
SEMC Member Involvement
As members of a church family, there are many opportunities to get involved within the community and there are many ways to get involved in your community. There is a call to action within our neighbourhoods. Our daily life is a perfect time and place to use as a missionary post to live our faith, and put action into our words; to become a church wherever we go. As persons, we all have talents and interests we can use for the glory of God, and he loves to use those. We can use those gifts when working alongside Jesus and the mission he has been on since the beginning. When we put our words to work, we must pray all the time, and seek to understand our community, where it is going and where is comes from, so we may respond to it in a Christ-like way. As we start the new year we want to give people the chance to share where they are serving in our community, so that we can better appreciate the impact our church family is having locally.
Other churches in our community
We need to develop a strong appreciation for other churches in our community who work hard to treat life like it is a mission trip and are who are working to bless the world around them. All churches working to develop people by being involved in organizations should start with God’s story, and what he is doing around us. Viewing the world as small families embedded in the community is a smart way to begin to understand humanity, discover where it is going, and accept that the bible has something to say about any situation. We must use the word of God as a resource, celebrating and partnering with others who share these same values. Together we make a more significant Kingdom impact and reflect the answer to Jesus prayer for unity (John 17) among all followers of Jesus.
How can we bless our world? It all boils down to one simple premise: love your neighbour. The greatest and most important commandment is to love God above all else, but the next important commandment is to love your neighbour. It is essential to Christian faith and our growth as human beings. In our daily lives, whether it is a community organization, church membership, or individual volunteer work we must be willing to learn from our environment and those with whom we are working. One question to ask when loving our neighbour is, how can we help? This guiding question is essential to becoming the kind person that loves unconditionally. Fortifying ourselves in prayer, through our regular interaction with God’s Word, allow us to better understand our community and equips us to respond in a Christ-like way when we put our words to work.
-based on research compiled by Brianna Kita, the Community Development Researcher during Summer 2017