Getting to know your neighbors

Where are we? Who is in our neighborhood?

To begin, you need to spend 30 minutes exploring the neighborhood by foot or by car. Divide into small teams of two or three. Observe as much as you can. Take notes about what stands out to you.

Mapping. Post a piece of newsprint on the wall and begin to map your neighborhood or ministry target area. indicate significant landmarks, neighborhood boundaries, land divisions, land use, churches, schools, businesses, residences, services. Use demographic material to study and understand the people, economics, lifestyles and changes in your neighborhood.

Next, walk around several blocks in the city together, in groups of four people or less. Pray silently as you go. Ask the Holy Spirit to provide opportunities to meet people and for insights about what may be happening spiritually in the area. When you return, update your map and discuss what you learned. What did you notice most on your walk?

Learning about your city and neighborhood

Imagine a city expert in your meeting/ this person knows everything about this your city's economy, history, people and neighborhoods. What do you want to know? Develop three questions for this expert. Share your questions with each other. In your study time, develop a plan for learning about your city. Begin by brainstorming places and people to visit. Identify the questions you could pursue at each place. Review the list that you brainstormed. Draw a star by the people and places that seem most important and most feasible for your group to visit. Volunteer as individuals, pairs, or small groups to explore one of the identified people or places. Set a meeting time when you will debrief your experiences and tell the others what you have learned.

What is God's call for us in this place?

Discuss together the following questions in light of God's care for Jerusalem (Psalm 122, Isaiah 62:1-7,12). What does God's care for Jerusalem show about God's love for this city? What might God's realm look like in this city? What might be God's vision for this city?

Based on your interviews and experience of your neighborhood and city discuss and chart the following questions. Where have you seen hopelessness in this city? Where have you seen signs of hope? What's working? Which people, agencies, places, or policies are making positive contributions in this area? What's not working? Which people, places, buildings, behaviors, policies, or other issues are problems in the area? How can we be part of the solution? How can we connect with healthy people and institutions to make a positive difference?

How do we share the gospel?

Brainstorm together a list of ways to share the gospel, God's good news in your neighborhood. Use the e.word article "Eleven Commandments for Ordinary, Everyday Evangelists" to prepare and rehearse sharing your faith and invitation in your community with others.

Suggestions from Urban Disciples: A Beginner's Guide to Serving God in the City, Jenell Paris and Margot Eyring, Judson Press, 2000

Connecting with Your Neighbors and Community

"Congregations focused on ministry beyond current membership understand their neighborhoods. Virtually all congregations that focus on current members are not involved in the local neighborhood."* How well do you know the people around your congregation? This workshop will offer inspiration and examples for reaching out and meeting your neighbors.

*In Search of the Unchurched by Alan Klaas

Evangelism Workshop
Saturday, October 4th
Pittsburgh Area Churches
David Schoen

1. How well do you know your community and neighbors? Why care?

2. Evangelism—a Core Mission to Meet, Know and Reach Out to Others

Evangelism—Being and Sharing Good News (Evangel)
A Celtic Way of Evangelism

3. Congregations connecting with their Neighbors and Community

"It's All about Evangelism" Video
"Go Forth and Knock"
And more

4. Preparing yourself and your congregation to be evangelists.

"Eleven Commandments for Everyday, Ordinary Evangelists"

5. Preparing your congregation to reach out to your community.

6. Resources, Responses, Questions

Demographic information
UCC Research Office http://ext.nazarene.org/m3/scr/ucc.exe
U.S. Census Bureau www.census.gov
Percept Demographic PerceptNet.com

Community Outreach
http://www.servantevangelism.com/questions/Questions.htm

1. How well do you know your community and neighbors? Why care?

Welcome, good to be back, appreciate commitment and attentiveness glad for this chance to address churches connecting with comm. and neighbors

I know that Congregations focused on ministry beyond current membership understand their neighborhoods. Virtually all congregations that focus on current members are not involved in the local neighborhood."* How well do you know the people around your congregation? This workshop will offer inspiration and examples for reaching out and meeting your neighbors.

How well do you know your communities

Percept data test

Good to take test.

Many churches lost touch with community and neighbors
Communities have changed, members live other places
Pastor doesn't live in community
Communities have changed—unchurched
Churches out of touch with culture and people

Why care, Safe haven from world
The world that God's loves and Christ came and died for
Christ calls us to love God and neighbor
The church called to go forth into the world
Mission of outreach is at center of churches life

We have narrowed the focus of church to serving the existing congregation......But Christ calls us to look beyond the congregation to the world

Today's world for evangelism and outreach starts at front door and neighborhood

it is not some special function but it is the central to all we do and all our life together and all of us

So let's talk about evangelism and outreach, connecting to your community and neighbors

2. Evangelism—a Core Mission to Meet, Know and Reach Out

Evangelism—Being and Sharing Good News (Evangel)

So let's talk about evangelism.... What is it?

evangel is — good news
evangelism—of the good news, furtherance of the good news,Embodiment of the evangel
notice — Angel, messengers of good news

4. OK, what do you think of when you hear the word evangelism

what do you think of when you hear the word evangelism

What is your experience of evangelism

why has evangelism become the unspoken, feared, e.word

why the barriers to mainline churches to engaging in evangelism in 21st century

1. Fear of being obnoxious, becoming something we don't want to be
2. Fear of embarassment, being rejuected
3. Loss of enthusiasm for faith, Taking faith for granted
4. History of church being mainline, now sideline
5. Assuming everybody knows about faith
5. Church hasn't taught, encouraged, or spoken evangelism (Church growth, but not evangelism)

5. So what keeps you from being the evangelist you want to be

turn to one or two different people and tell each other why

(Break)

6. Celtic christianity, how the UCC can reclaim evangelism

Roman and celtic

The book is The Celtic Way of Evangelism: How Christianity Can Reach the West . . . Again by George Hunter III. In his book, George Hunter describes the difference between what he describes as the evangelism approach in Roman and Celtic Christianity. Celtic Christianity is the tradition of mission and ministry that was first developed by St. Patrick in Ireland and then journeyed into Scotland. Roman Christianity is the tradition of mission and ministry that was practiced by missionaries from Rome that sought to 'Christianize' the people of England.

"Bluntly stated, the Roman model for reaching people (who are "civilized" enough) is: (1) Present the Christian message; (2) Invite them to decide to believe in Christ and become Christians: and (3) If they decide positively, welcome them into the church and its fellowship. The Roman model seems very logical to us because most American evangelicals are scripted by it! We explain the gospel, they accept Christ, we welcome them into the church! Presentation, Decision, Assimilation. "

In contrast, this is the Celtic model for outreach: (1) you first establish community with people, or bring them into the fellowship of your community of faith. (2) within the embrace of community, you engage in conversation, ministry, prayer and worship. (3) As people discover their gifts and faith, you invite them to commit to discipleship.

The two models can be simply charted as such:

Roman Model

Presentation
Decision
Fellowship

Celtic Model

Fellowship
Ministry and Conversation
Belief, Invitation to Commitment

The Celtic model reflects the adage that for most people, 'Christianity is more caught than taught!' As Professor Robin Gill observes 'belonging comes before believing'. For this reason, evangelism is now about "helping people to belong so that they can believe."

Celtic christianity, it was community/relationally based
It relied on holy spirit, not coercion
put faith passionately not only in word but in deeds
It was culturally sensitive

Go to the people
live among them
learn from them
love them
Start with what they know
build on what they have

3. Congregations connecting with their Neighbors and Community

Video
Grace/First "walking the dog"
Knock, Knock —Susan Leo, Indianapolis
Dave Loar
Eric Elnes
Art Outreach
Rock Concerts, Bikers, Truck/Car stops,

4. Preparing yourself and your congregation to be evangelists.

"Eleven Commandments for Everyday, Ordinary Evangelists"

Walter B. Three constituencies for evangelism

1. Outsiders, Unchurched, Never churched, disaffected

2. Jaded insiders, Those who are in church and faith, but have loss their enthusiasm

3. New generations, Children becoming adults, insider and outside of faith communitythink about the how range, Relationship web

be intentional, Keep names before you, pray for them find opportunity to talk about faith, invite to community of faith

be ready for the unexpected, place yourself in world of spiritual seekers learn to do public witness, prayer, worship (Perhaps our own worlds are so churched, we are aware of unchurched, etc)

note: Be patient, but persistent, Gladys .....prayers, witness

people have the right to say no, or not respond remember it's just our work to plant the seed,

8. What do I say, I don't know, I'm not ready, let's practise

hand out 11 commandments

read through

list questions about faith

think about everything you know about the basics of christian faith —like the statement of faith, the apostles creed, the bible, whatever. What is the most important thing about the christian faith? Turn to a neighbor and take just two minutes to tell that person what you think is the most important aspect of the christian faith and why.

Now let's talk about experience. What you know because of what you've experienced.

some some respond to the thinking/rational, others about the experiential/feeling it takes both

tell my own story, Nicaragua

practise

take a minute to reflect on any one of these four questions, share with neighbor

1. What is it about your experience with jesus that the rest of the world can't live without?

2. Why do you need Jesus? ( what difference does knowing Jesus (God/holy spirit) make in your life

3. Tell about when you have experienced the presence or action of god in your life

4. What is an important bible passage or story for you?

(If there is time, do some role playing)

9. so now where are you on sharing your faith, how has this been Can you picture yourself, work of evangelist requires spiritual strength, work of heart take time to listen and prayer and studytakes intentional personal/community workdo a workshop in your own church, build community of evangelist

5. Preparing your congregation to reach out to your community.

You have to build community of evangelists, Also build understanding of community that you are reaching out to

not only word, but program that addresses needs, not only program, but word connect spirituality and service, Deed and word

Congregations with food bank

Pastor reaching out to trailer park

how do we get to know needs of community that we can address programatically and spiritually

6. Resources, Responses, Questions

Demographic information UCC Research Office http://ext.nazarene.org/m3/scr/ucc.exe

 

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CONTACT INFO

Rev. David C. Schoen
Minister and Team Leader, Congregational Assessment, Support & Advancement (CASA)
700 Prospect Ave.
Cleveland, Ohio 44115
216-736-3827
schoend@ucc.org