Knowing the city and its workersGovernment workers know their city better than most pastors do. People move into community positions because they want to help their neighborhoods. There are often a lot of difficulties, but there are also opportunities for positive contribution.

So if you are a pastor or missionary, go out of  your way to get to know the mayor, the city council members, the school board. Familiarize yourself with the non-profits based in your area. Come to them from a place of service: they want good for the people in the city and so do you. An important mutual synergy can be created.

Often the people come to city workers with criticism and complaints. What if you came and said, “What are some needs that our church could help you with? Pastors are good at getting people to show up and do things. They do it every week. They could do the same thing to serve the city. When Dennis Easter was a pastor in Portland, his church volunteered to help with the community film festival. They volunteered to do the job no one else wanted to do: cleanup. You can see a video of Dennis telling that story on youtube.

How can you serve the city you’re a part of? What’s the job no one else wants to do? How can you be a blessing to the city around you? Wherever you are planted, that’s where you are to serve.