“It’s one thing to be generous. It’s another thing to come up with a plan for generosity."
"I believe we all have a heart for our city - a heart for serving our community", he says. "The question is, how do we do it?"
On Wednesday, ARC and CourageToLead teamed up to encourage pastors and church leaders to dream big in terms of transforming their cities and growing their ministries. One of the ways to unlock ministry growth potential, they discussed, is by having a church culture marked by compassion and serving.
CourageToLead Founder and CEO Shawn Lovejoy and Dino Rizzo, Co-founder and Executive Director of ARC hosted the webinar.
Dino is also Outreach and Missions Pastor at Church of the Highlands, one of the most influential churches in the world. Both Dino and Shawn are passionate about planting healthy churches and seeing them grow. They understand the challenges church planters face because they’ve planted their own churches.
At ARC, Dino leads the national Serve Day initiative, the goal of which is to inspire churches across the country to serve their communities and to champion a culture of serving others.
“A generous man devises generous things”, Dino quoted from Isaiah 32:8 during the webinar. “It’s one thing to be generous. It’s another thing to come up with a plan for generosity. I believe we all have a heart for our city - a heart for our community. The question is, how do we do it?”
It’s about getting to the heart of what your city is crying out for and thinking like Jesus, he explained, referencing Acts 10:38 - And you know that God anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit and with power. Then Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil because God was with him.
Here are four key points Dino shared for cracking the code for your city:
You’ve got to figure out what is going on in the plot of land God put you in. Someone else’s outreach may not help in your city. It's about paying attention to what’s going on. What’s happening in your city? What’s the reoccurring pain? Is it illiteracy? Incarceration? Homelessness? You try to crack the code.
2. Ask questions.
You’ve got to ask good questions to the right people. Figure out how to engage your community. You can find out from elder pastors in the community, police, EMS, from councilman. (He recalls a time he sent a team out to sit in an emergency room.) What is the pain there?
3. Activate it.
This can happen through sermons, ideas, conversations. We do so much of this at Church of the Highlands through small groups. It can be done through events or different leaders who have a heart for an area. There are people who wake up every day in your church thinking about pain. They wake up thinking about people who are shut-ins, or those who are trying to get job skills, or people in a neighborhood that is crime-ridden. Activate the people in your church who have a bent to serve and a heart to help others.
Do something. You can’t solve every problem. But you can do something. We can’t change the whole world but we can change one life. It’s creating cultures that serve and celebrating that. What you reward gets repeated. We can shout out and appreciate those who have a heart of compassion, who see things others don’t see or organize around an outreach. You’re thinking like Jesus when you think of ways to do good and bring healing to your cities.
Find out how your church can register for #ServeDay18 next summer HERE!
At CourageToLead®, we are dedicated to coaching leaders through what keeps them up at night. Drop us a line! We'd love to chat with you about what that could look like for you.