By Michael C. Mack
Over the summer of 2015, Northeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky, served its community through a wide variety of big, all-in serving events called Love the Ville (#lovetheville) that took lots of planning and coordination and made a huge impact on the community.
Go and do minister Randy Gordon provides three vital planning and execution principles:
1. Talk to the right people. Maximize the relationships you already have. Gordon and his team approached people and organizations that the church or church members already partner with or have relationships with. This adds credibility, accountability, and an element of trust.
2. Listen. “We go to people and ask, ‘How can we serve you?’” Gordon says. Church leaders don’t show up and tell people how they want to serve. That makes a huge difference. “In that way,” he says, “we honor that relationship.” The church then seeks to match its resources, in terms of volunteers and other capabilities, to the community’s needs.
3. Communicate well, especially with volunteers. A serving opportunity early in the summer involved cleaning up a local cemetery that had fallen badly into disrepair and overgrowth. Gordon pointed out that when you have 400 volunteers showing up at a cemetery that has only a few parking spots available, you must make sure volunteers know where to go, where to park, what time to get there, what to bring, etc.
Gordon and his team also needed to have an appropriate number of the right leaders available for the number of volunteers, and those leaders needed to know their responsibilities and the process for the day. Good signage added to the communication process.