EDITORS NOTE from MATT MURPHY:
As soon as my friend Josh Burnett planted Revolution Annapolis in 2010, he turned to me and the other members of the launch team and told us the next step was collaborating with other churches in Annapolis. We had been supported by several churches from the region, but we hadn’t yet collaborated to express Jesus’ love to our community with churches right in our immediate community.
In the last eight years, we have collaborated with several other churches in meeting the needs of our community. We have packed meals together, packed backpacks together, co-hosted Holy Week events, stocked the food pantry together, put on a five-mile race together, met regularly to pray together, and on and on. We have even worked with another church in the area to plant a new church in Washington, DC, just a few miles down the road.
Collaboration hasn’t always been easy, but the hardest part for sure is just getting started. Once you “break the ice” and start seeing the impact of Kingdom collaboration together, it gets easier. If you want to start a movement of new churches being planted in their area, you have to “break the ice” of collaboration.
We love this blog from Eric Jung at Love Our Cities. Here is one practical first step for seeing a Gospel Movement in your city. This was originally posted HERE. After you read this, definitely go check out www.loveourcities.org.
Want to see a Gospel Movement in your city?
Start with a city-wide volunteer day.
Love Our Cities had grown to about two dozen cities in Northern California when we were contacted by Jay from Fullerton in Southern California. Jay is a pastor who left his church to start a non profit, OC United, to be a convener of multiple churches across Orange County to meet the deepest needs of their cities.
Jay knew he needed a catalytic event to get the ball rolling. Something that could be seen across the County and drive awareness, buzz, and momentum. In a series of random-to-us-but-not-to-God events, Jay found Love Our Cities. Looking back, he commented,
“From the first day I read about this movement I felt a strong compelling connection and wanted to bring it to my city and North Orange County as well. It works, mobilizing the faith community in partnership with city government, local businesses, public and private schools, and local residents is genius.”
What are the needs of your city?
Maybe there’s a need for school/ church partnerships? Maybe it’s addressing homelessness, or foster care, or human trafficking? (Maybe you need to meet with your city leaders and hear what they think is a huge need.)
Whatever it is, if you want to start a city-wide, multi-church initiative, our experience says to start with a city-wide volunteer day.
Because a one-day, city wide event builds momentum. There is buzz in your city as posters, fliers, and build boards go up around town. News stations love to cover these types of events. They are easy to invite the entire community to join.
Because in asking how to help, city leaders, non-profits, schools, businesses… practically every sector of the community, can be a participant in a meaningful way.
Because sometimes getting multiple churches to partner around an initiative can be like herding cats, but inviting multiple churches to the table to plan a one-day event, with neutral branding, is a great place to start building relationships and trust, which can foster more collaborative efforts.
We work with dozens of cities, and each one has their own unique needs. Despite the differences, each city recognizes the power of a catalytic event and what it can do to inspire a community of Christ followers to have a significant, long lasting impact, on their city.
Interested in starting a city-wide volunteer day in your city? We’d love to connect and help you get started!
Eric Jung, Director of City Engagement
Love Our Cities
Eric Jung is the Director of City Engagement for Love Our Cities and works with over 60 cities throughout the west coast in running city wide volunteer events and initiatives. When he’s not working with cities, Eric spends time providing green, affordable housing internationally. He holds a BA in Business Administration from Point Loma Nazarene University and Finance and a Masters Degree in Transformational Leadership from Bethel Seminary. He and his wife, Kara, have three girls and a boy, ages 8,6,4 and 2.