Its aim is twofold:
- To make a contribution to seeing each local church in the UK engage with its community in credible and relevant ways, primarily though not exclusively through issues related to family.
- To increase the amount of effective family ministry in the British Isles.
- It seeks to do this by enthusing, encouraging and equipping churches to take new strides in community engagement.
- Over time it is hoped that this will become a dynamic and growing repository of gathered wisdom as we join the journey, and share our stories and the lessons we’ve learnt.
Each section is designed to help in this process.
Inspiration for use with your church
- Over the years, Care for the Family has built relationship with and spoken to hundreds of church leaders, hearing their stories of engagement. From these conversations it would appear that one of the greatest needs is to get church members thinking about community engagement and persuade them that such engagement is both important and possible.
- It is intended that over time this section will provide you with articles and resources that will enable you to think through the reasons why engaging is important, make your congregation aware of the needs, inspire them with ideas, and show them what is possible.
- By using stories, interviews, tasters, vox pops and so on, the aim is to place into your hands resources that you will be able to use with your congregation to encourage them to become engaged.
- Over time this section will build into a rich resource that we hope you will want to come back to again and again. It will enable you to envision your congregation. Keeping the vision fresh and persuading the church that this is not some fad or fashion but something you are committed to over the long haul.
Getting started with Community Engagement
- Many have said that they would love to engage with their communities. The problem is that they don’t know how to start. This section will provide you with pointers so that you will feel able to make those first essential steps into effective engagement.
- Using stories from those who have successfully made the journey before you, it will lay out the principles that you can take and make your own.
- Often church leaders think that it is too complicated. This section will demonstrate that you can make real inroads into your community, no matter what size your church may be.
Tips on running different Engage projects
- Some churches have already begun the journey. They are building significant relationships with their community. The question they are now asking is what is the next step?
- How can we make the most of the opportunities that are opening up to us?
- How can we build our church around community engagement in such a way that it is not just another project but part of the very essence of what we are.
- This section is designed to offer ideas as to how you can discover the next steps to take.
- It will demonstrate how others have made the leap into greater effectiveness. It will give pointers as to how you can, too.
- It is full of practical ideas and training opportunities.
Materials to equip you day to day
- Working with the community is complex and messy. Everyday situations will arise that you will not have met before – where you will need pointers from those who’ve been there before.
- There is also access to help for you personally; material that will help you in times of crisis within your church and community.
- Here too are signposts that will point you to specialist projects that will enable you to connect with many areas of need in your community and feel supported in the process of doing so.
Learning lessons from others
- This entire resource is intended to be interactive and dynamic. It is not intended to be a means for imparting specialist knowledge from tutor to student but rather a way for us to learn together.
- In the section are stories about what you are doing to engage with your community. It provides you with the opportunity to share your story with us and for us to feature stories that add to our collective body of knowledge as to how we can more effectively engage.
- We invite you to tell us your story – you never know, we might come and interview you about what you are doing.
Interaction is important
- This section is intended to enable us to talk to each other. The forum will follow themes raised by you or that have been raised via the email newsletter – EngageToday.
- Our aim is to cover issues that are challenging or are proving to be obstacles to your forward movement. Raise the issue and see what others suggest as solutions.
- Engage is not intended to be simply an event, a resource or a website, but a journey we take together. Where we support one another as we engage with community and take a co-ordinated approach that will hopefully have an impact on the whole of the UK.
- To this end, we’ll want to keep you posted regarding events that will help.
- This is the section of the site designed to keep you up to date with what is happening both from the perspective of Care for the Family and from other organisations.
Do you want a family but not sure how to start? We have come up with a free guide about natural family planning, you can find more details on this on All Free Stuff, which is a free sample site in the UK.