I had an interesting chat with my friend recently, who works for the council in a community role. I asked about local churches and what she felt about them. She explained how important churches are to their work and she talked about all the local churches in my area . She knew very well which ones were willing to engage and respond to her and willing to work together and also the ones that were the opposite. Churches are a big part of community.
We are always being watched by our neighbours and community for signs of warmth and open hearts. I once stood outside a local school, which was a stones throw from the hall. I was advertising a holiday club and pointed to the hall to show where it was being held. The responses amazed me- some mum's said they didn’t know what happened in that hall and others said they hadn’t noticed it.
Community work is like anything- the more you put into it the more you gain. I feel sure that everyone knew who Jesus was in his work and he understood community. Outreach projects help you to start the process of creating relationships. Your community is like your crop or harvest- like farmers we need to be in the middle of the field and inspecting our crop and knowing it every day- our place is in community, spreading love and warmth on the field like fertilizer and then standing back to let God work.