Healthy churches combine vibrant worship with service to their communities.
In other words, they take both the first and the second great commandments of Jesus seriously by endeavouring to love both God and neighbour.
As Christians we need to discern what God is already doing in our communities and join in to promote the Kingdom, doing all we can to show God’s love. This will be by campaigning and working for structural justice as well as organising ourselves to deliver care and offering individual acts of kindness.
Outward looking focus
Churches should have a ‘whole life’ rather than a ‘church life’ concern.
Meet the needs
Passionate and prophetic
Local and global issues should be given prominence in preaching, in intercessions and by encouragement and affirmation of those with a passion to act prophetically.
Organisations like Christian Aid, 38 Degrees and the One Campaign help churches and individuals address issues of social justice. A number also find inspiration at events such as the Greenbelt Festival.
The National Weddings Project has put together a number of very good resources. Churches also offer care and support to the bereaved (organising informal meetings as well as services of remembrance).
Hear how Katryn Leclezio and St Peter's in Cradley are engaging their local community.
Alison Martin, from St James, Welland, talks about their experience of deciding to open up the church to the community in a more proactive way, and how they went about making changes to make it happen.
Churches in the Diocese of Worcester show some of the Kingdom projects they're involved with in their local communities.