Does My Church Have an Impact on My Community?

It is easy for pastors, church leaders, and churchgoers to wonder if their church has a real, tangible impact on the community the church serves.

They ask, “How do we know if our church has a real impact on our community?”

Specific and Contextualized Ways to Gauge Your Church’s Impact on Your Community

Allow fellow pastors and church planters to offer some answers to this question.

People are with You

The mere fact that people (no matter the number) gather together under the umbrella of your church means you impact your community.

Regardless of where your church meets (sanctuary, coffee shop, strip mall, parking lot, someone’s home, etc.), that fact that people show up means if your church wasn’t there, the lives of a certain number of people would change.

Individual Life Transformation

Next Sunday, Saturday, or whatever day of the week your church meets together, look around at those who have gathered.

  • Do you remember what they suffered through before they accepted Christ or experienced the touch of the Holy Spirit through your church?
  • Do you remember why they let their guard down and surrendered to the Spirit’s prompting?

Rev. Semmeal Thomas gave an example of one particular Sunday morning—one where the Lord showed him the impact of his church.

Rev. Thomas saw a young man in a corner coffee shop on his way to church. The young man wore a suit and tie while he waited for his coffee before finishing his walk to the church.

When Rev. Thomas met this young man, he was caught in substance abuse that had rid his life of all stability and potential.

But today, he had risen early in the morning, put on the best of his wardrobe, and had enough spare income to enjoy a cup of coffee before joining his church for worship.

A healthy church can point to lives changed through the preaching of God’s Word, prayer, worship, constant presentation of the Gospel.

Presence in the Community

Another way to measure your church’s impact in your city is to observe ways the people of your church interact with your community.

  • Do your people live or spend time in the community your church serves?
  • What goes on at your church building or location throughout the week?
  • Do the members of the church have points of contact with those outside the church?
  • Does your church meet any physical needs of your community?

A great way for a church to impact the community is to get involved in it.

Attending school sporting events, enjoying a meal with a non-Christian family, opening the church building for school events, local elections, and other civic affairs, or responding to community disasters are just a few ways to show a church’s presence.

Partnering with other faith or community organizations to address community concerns can often lead to larger partnerships for the betterment of the community’s citizens.

Community development centers, feeding ministries, job or business training, and energetic youth outreach can all result from joining forces with other churches or organizations.

Community presence will look different for every church based on the needs, demographics, and interests of the people who live there.

Strategies and outreach can be effective, but a church should start with the social spaces which members already occupy.

Going Forward

Hopefully this gives you or your pastor somewhere to start as you take inventory of your church’s impact on the community.

Christ commands our entire lives, leaving no room for anyone or anything to compete with him for the throne of our hearts.

A true follower of Jesus and every healthy church will automatically and unknowingly impact the surrounding community in a positive way.

Inside the Urban Church Report