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Being Relevant Matters

michelle-_summer-gardenLynette Hawkins
What is your ministry doing this summer to be relevant to the needs of the people? After spending a recent evening with a congregation’s community garden, I ask this question. Amazingly, I witnessed fifteen church members who had bonded together to share fresh vegetables and fruit for close to one hundred families in the community. Can you imagine what would happen if your ministry planted seeds to share the fruit with others?

Community gardens have really blossomed this year. The American Community Garden Association estimates more than 18,000 community gardens. Faith based community gardens have been able to bring together neighbors, community groups, children and adults building new relationships and new bridges to the church. Several A.M.E. churches are planting and growing in community gardens to share with the community. A simple search online shows that gardening ministries are on the growing. With the rise of food prices and many overextended food pantries, planting vegetables and fruit have been some of the ways congregations have found to be relevant today.

When a ministry is about helping others and leading people to a relationship with Jesus Christ, the ministry is continually looking for ways to relate to the people’s needs as they change. Today, our changing economy and family conditions are creating needs in our communities that ministries may not have ever dealt with before. Now is a good time to take inventory of your community needs and seek to be even more relevant for today. As we strive to be even more faithful to the Great Commission, what else can we do to reach beyond the walls?

How is your ministry seeking ways to continue to be relevant?

Lynette Hawkins is a communications specialist with Awesome Insight of Beyond Marketing Group, Inc. based in Greensboro, N.C. She offers a free monthly e-newsletter for church leaders that reaches more than 1,000 Christian leaders and recently introduced, Make Room to Welcome, an interactive training DVD for members, ushers and greeters. Sign up for her free newsletter at www.awesomeinsight.com or e-mail her at info@awesomeinsight.com



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