Building a Vision for Your Community

Every few months, someone in our class works up the courage to suggest that we should be involved in some kind of outreach to our community. Everyone politely agrees, but no one has any specific suggestions, and before long we are back to discussing our families, our jobs, or the evening’s study.

We will never progress beyond well-meaning discussion in the confines of a Sabbath School class unless we get a vision for ministry. Vision comes by seeing. It is so easy to move from one day to the next without ever really seeing the communities in which we live. What it will take will be some actual involvement.

Proclaim the next few weeks a “Vision-building Campaign” for your class. Here is an outline to help you organize this new effort.

Week One: Interview.

Invade a shopping mall one Sunday or canvass the streets of your business district during a weekday lunch hour and ask people, “What do you consider our community’s three greatest needs?” Appoint a group member to compile the results before your next class session.

Week Two: See through God’s eyes.

After looking at the results of your interviews, discuss the following: What changes do you think God wants to make in your community? In other words, what do you think God’s vision is for your community?

Week Three: Determine your role.

Considering what you have learned about your community and what you sense God wants you to do, brainstorm specific things your class could do to help bring this vision about. Could you volunteer at your local homeless shelter or crisis pregnancy center? Are there elderly residents who would appreciate help with yard work or a fresh coat of paint on their houses? How about single moms or dads who could use free babysitting services? Or a soup kitchen in need of vegetable choppers and dish washers? After developing your list of ideas, select two for action.

This article originally appeared in Discipleship Journal. Reprinted by permission.

Sue Kline
© 2006 SGeneral Conference of Seventh-day Adventists