By Deborah Bruce
We’ll soon be heading to the polls to vote on candidates and issues locally and nationally. A previous post noted that most worshipers vote. In what other ways do worshipers influence the communities in which they live?
Worshipers give money and food. Three in four worshipers gave money to a charitable organization other than their congregation in the past year. Worshipers support many worthy groups and causes with their time and their money. And half donated or prepared food for someone outside their family and church. Worshipers might take meals to a neighbor with a newborn child, donate to the local food pantry, or volunteer at a soup kitchen, for example.
Many offer one-on-one assistance. About one in four worshipers loaned money to someone, helped someone find a job, or cared for someone who was sick. These worshipers help improve the lives of others.
Fewer work on community issues. One in five worshipers worked to solve a community problem or contacted an elected official. Participating in the civic life of their neighborhood, town, or city enhances life for many.
The big picture. Only a few worshipers—one in ten—are entirely unengaged, having done none of these seven caring acts. At the other extreme, one in five have engaged with their neighbors and community in four or more of these ways.
Interested in helping your worshipers make a difference in the community? Here are some helpful resources:
Shaping Communities—ideas, links, and worship materials
Going Deeper in Community