Churches offer support to community members and churchgoers. However, churches need support, too. In many communities across the country, there are stories of churches struggling and even shutting down for various reasons in the past few decades.
Most would think the only way to support a church is financially, but that isn’t the case. Churches aren’t just about fundraising. There are many ways to help your church, from volunteering to word-of-mouth marketing. Every tiny contribution helps the bigger cause, and your church will benefit from these ongoing efforts.
Here is a mix of ways you can support your church:
Arguably, the easiest and best way to support your church is to attend mass. Your attendance helps your pastor and the church, and is encouragement to church leaders that the work they put into managing the church is worth it. A lot of people underestimate the value of simply showing up.
While you’re at mass and around the church, say hello to others, smile, and be friendly. Say your Amen after prayers, sing along with the hymns if you like, and just be present in the moment. Dozens of your neighbors may be in the same church and it’s a fine opportunity to establish goodwill among you and your fellow community members. At successful churches like the United Church of Canada, the community has been thriving based on an active group of regular churchgoers.
If you have a little extra in your budget this month, consider putting a portion aside for your local church. If you don’t have any money to give, consider what you can do with the time or connections you might have in the local community.
There are lots of ways to give. If you don’t have any ideas at the moment, talk to your pastor. Tell them you want to be more generous but aren’t sure how to do it. They might have some suggestions and be able to direct you.
Pray for Your Church
Pray for those who are in authority. Thank them in prayer for their service. Give them strength in prayer. Just like with other human beings, church leaders can face temptation and spiritual conflict. If a church leader quits or struggles, the church struggles along with them.
Volunteer at Your Church
Shoulder some of the responsibility and volunteer your time in whatever role may be available. Especially at larger churches, there’s always a lot to do. Burnout can set in. Church organizers understandably can feel overburdened at times. Even if there isn’t an existing role to place yourself in, let them know you’re there and available. That’s all.
Use Your Gifts
We’ve all been given gifts. These gifts aren’t meant to be hidden. Is there a way to use your gifts to be helpful to the church – by doing something you love, you can be a great help to your church. This could be along the lines of using musical talent to participate in choir, putting to work accounting or admin skills to help with organization at your church, or baking or cooking to help feed those in need.
Offer to Organize a Food Drive
Churches do a lot for communities and for those in-need. Food security is a big issue Canada-wide. Think of all the food in your home that’s not going to get eaten. Every home is like that. Volunteer to your church to organize a food drive on their behalf and spread goodwill.
Offer mobile pickups, collect as much as you can, and distribute to families in need. It’s a very kind approach to getting the word out about your church and supporting your church’s mandate.
Offer to Teach a Class
A church’s strength is defined by the community it serves and the enthusiasm of the room. As a volunteer, offer to teach a class through your church. It does not need to be religion-specific either. Some ideas include:
- A song writing class.
- A woodworking class.
- Arts and crafts.
- A smartphone film class.
Each of these ideas get more people coming to the church. It promotes the church to more community members, and spreads positivity, love, and strength.
Reach Out to Community Members
Every church has community members in need. Meet the rest of the flock, so to speak. Ask questions, offer support to those who need it, and go out of your way if needed to greet newcomers you don’t recognize. Church is about building a community. When you make connections through the church, you play a role in increasing attendance and involvement. You also strengthen that community of people while building around the same purpose.
In secular society, understandably, people have differing views of evangelicalism. For those that are open to the idea of hearing about your church and your pastor, they will hear you loud and clear. Live and conduct yourself accordingly.
Speak well of your church publicly. When discussing weekend plans, mentioning your church in passing and with a positive comment is a gentle way to enter your church into the conversation without being forceful.