What Is Community Work?

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Recently a fellow pastor introduced me to a gathering as a "commited community worker". I was not pleased by the introduction. In fact his remarks cause me to prayerfully ponder deeply the view of the AME Church and the Servant mentality. I share these thoughts with you. So that you too may perhaps share these views. and even more so many of our churches may emerge from their desert experiances into the marvelous light. Before I knew the Lord I considered myself a community worker. Now there is no difference beteen the Lord's work and any other labor. Too often our churches are concerned about the mundance things of life. Herein lies the strive which often besets us. People protect; positions, connectional politics, imagined turf owned by families, and even the activities of the church. This happens when we (The collective body) which make up the church ceases to be Christ centered. When we are centered in Christ everything we do is for His glory. We minister to the loss and unchurch to bring them to Christ, not to increase finances or membership. We help the sick, the needy because we are guided by Christ's reading of the Word in Luke 4:18and our Lord's love for us. There is no wall segmenting our activities. The partition has been torn down by the power of the Risen Lord. Today many AME members shine their Christ centered love life in community organizations, fraternal groups, and non profits in every community. Why? It is because too many churches think God's work is limited to local activities with church members, worship service the administration and finances of the district, conference, episcopal and general church. church. And because of that view many churches wander in the wilderness and are dying congregations in dying communities because of the sin of self centerness. "Our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus Christ and His rightousness". Until we realize this and center ourselves not on shifting sand but the solid rock no other solutions will prevail. Community work indeed!! There is but one community and that is the Kingdom of God. PRAISE THE NAME OF JESUS!!!!!

-- Anonymous, April 13, 2002


Great word, not just for the AME, but for the entire Body of Christ.

-- Anonymous, April 14, 2002

Based on your posting Rev. Woodberry, you DO know the definition of community work or "outreach". Basically, outreach occurs, in a church context, when members of the body of Christ or members of a particular church body reach OUT and SERVE people in the surrounding community where that church is located. True community outreach or community "work" occurs when the members of the particular church body reach OUT to those members of the community, regardless of their affiliation with that particular church body. One of the biggest problems with the church members of today (regardless of denomination) is that we have forgotten that Christ's church is here on earth primarily for two reasons: to bring the unsaved to Christ and to SERVE the people. As members of the body of Christ, we will attract the unsaved to Christ as we SERVE them. Unfortunately, our level of service has been limited to what looks and sounds "good" on our quarterly conference/annual conference reports, but we fail to really consider the needs of the people in our communities. Also, many of us are more concerned about making money to pay our assessments to the connectional church, and so therefore, SERVING those people in our communities, you know, those people who are by no means contributing financially to our churches, becomes the LAST thing on our priority list. We (and I include myself in the equation) really need to wake up. God is watching us, and I do not believe that God is pleased with our non-service oriented behavior. God bless you all.

-- Anonymous, April 15, 2002

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