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Connect 246How to connect social action and faith sharing

From a booklet by Share Jesus International

As the Church serves on the margins of society with food provision, debt advice, etc., it is vital we take time to think through how we can appropriately share faith in words as well as deeds.

SJI have produced a booklet, 'How to connect social action and faith sharing', to help churches think through how they can incorporate sharing faith in the social action they are involved in. We need to be able to demonstrate what makes us distinctive from the many other organisations that do such good works in our communities.

The Church is delivering services on an unprecedented scale. In 2013, more than 10 million people in England said that they or their family had accessed community-based services provided by the church.

And then there was COVID-19.

And now, as we look to the future, it’s incredible to see churches coming together to see their localities flourish. These involve the Church working with the civic authorities to tackle pressing societal needs as we recover from the impact of Covid. It’s not just about going back to how things were, but believing in a better future for all.

Not only do we as the Church have a great reach, but we are also embedded into our local areas. We have assets on the ground (ranging from buildings to volunteers) and we understand the needs of our communities and are in it for the long haul.

Over the last decade of austerity, and more recently during the pandemic, both national government and local authorities have seen the significant role that the Church plays in serving communities across the UK. Society is welcoming the Church to care for its citizens. But when it comes to looking after people’s spirituality, we are now less than welcome. And to this, we can’t back off.

We may receive accolades for our noble servitude and grants to move projects forward, but the concern is that we will stop sharing the reason why we serve – we will shy away from explaining that God’s love compels us, and ultimately, we will gag ourselves from sharing Jesus.

This booklet gives case studies and 25 practical ideas on how you can embed faith sharing into your social action initiatives. How can you adapt the ones you are involved in?

See also previous blogs, Social action and church growth, A Bigger Difference:  Social Action and Church Growth in LiverpoolAnglican church-based social action,      

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From a booklet by Share Jesus International, 24/08/2021

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