Meeting a Need with your Community Group
Below is a guide adapted from a resource put out by Fellowship Raleigh that will help you determine if a service project or opportunity is a good fit for your community group. This is not meant to be a rigid, heartless assessment. Our prayer as a church is that the Holy Spirit would guide you and your group into meeting needs that will truly love and serve others. However, in order to keep us on the same page, this guide details the priorities of meeting needs in your context. It doesn’t mean we never do the things that are listed as lower priorities. It DOES mean that, as God leads and enables, we want to serve with an emphasis on relationships with people, not projects, and to develop a robust theology of the city, recognizing that God has determined the time and the boundaries of the city we now live in (Acts 17). Also, this matrix initially assumes that you are interested in meeting needs in a way that furthers your own faithfulness to God, is edifying for others, and is in accordance with his word.
Surveying the need
First, take a moment to write out the need you would like to meet in one or two sentences.
Now, using the criteria below, pick the options that describe this opportunity and write down the number beside the option. You’ll use these numbers to produce your score below:
WHERE WILL YOU BE SERVING?
3. This need is very close in geographic proximity to your CG or Vintage Church Downtown (you could walk there).
2. This need is somewhat close in geographical proximity to your CG or Vintage Church Downtown (5-10 minute drive).
1. This need is not close to your CG or Vintage Church Downtown (greater than 10 minute drive).
WHO WILL YOU BE SERVING?
5. You have an existing relationship and this person is already connected with Vintage Church.
4. You have an existing relationship and this person is a doubter or seeker.
3. You have an existing relationship and this person is connected with another church.
2. You don’t have a current relationship but there’s a likely opportunity for relationship.
1. You don’t have a current relationship and there’s an unlikely opportunity for relationship.
WHAT WILL YOU BE DOING TO SERVE?
3. This idea includes opportunities for conversation or interaction with people.
2. This idea is primarily a service project or tangible needs assistance.
1. This idea is primarily financial assistance.
WHAT RESOURCES ARE ALREADY AVAILABLE?
This can be access to material resources (food, money, etc.) or social, emotional, or relational resources. For example, someone who can pay their rent but lacks community has material resources but lacks relational resources, and therefore doesn’t have access to all necessary resources. Keep in mind, you will likely not know the full situation of those involved, like their financial situation or the communities they belong to (that’s why humble fact-finding is so crucial to this process).
4. This is a significant need and those in need have minimal access to resources.
3. This is a significant need and those in need have some access to resources.
2. This is a less than significant need, those in need have minimal access to resources.
1. This is a less than significant need, those in need have some access to resources.
12-15: Excellent! Stay in prayer over this opportunity and come up with a plan on how you can start meeting this need. Talk this over with your coach for helpful input.
8-11: Look at your lowest scoring area or areas. If you have a 1 on any of the four sections, hold off until you can identify a way to build relationships, increase interactions, or identify needs that are closer in proximity or among folks who have less access to resources. If your scores are low across at least three of the four areas, stay watchful and prayerful. Talk this over with your coach and pick their brain about other opportunities to serve in your context.
4-7: Hold off and prayerfully consider other opportunities to serve in your context. However, if the Lord is at work in this, stay faithful to him and talk this over with your coach to gain insight on the next steps for you and your group.