Aim: To see and understand the church and its place and role in their local community. Taken from the BB Seniors Challenge Plus Pro Pack, Community Project C-6
• Church directory
• Flip chart
Paper / cards with the names of the different groups from taster 1
• “Pay It Forward DVD
• “Generosity Game’ template 1
• W/DVD player
Taster 1 - Piece It Together
Aim: To find out how groups within your church impact on your community.
Churches should not be isolated groups of people, but be involved and of benefit to the community
On a flip chart think about:
• Which groups use your church premises?
• What do each of these groups do?
• How many people are involved? i.e. leaders and participants.
• Mark the ones you think benefit members of your local community.
• How do they do this?
• Have a list of all the groups that meet/use your church premises.
• Find out the purpose/aim of each group.
Tips / Advice:
Try to make this a quick taster — you could put a time limit on the activity.
Taster 2 - Take Your Pick
Aim: To find out more about one of the groups that meets in your Church.
Choose one group from your Church that reaches out into your community. Visit them and talk to the leaders and participants. Find out:
• What do they feel is good, effective, and worthwhile about their work?
• How do they make a difference to the community?
• What are they going to do in the future?
Thank them for their time and the work that they do on behalf of the church in your community.
• Make sure that you ask the group in advance when would be best to visit them.
• Let them know how many people are going to visit.
• Make sure they are aware why you are visiting them.
Tips / Advice:
• Try not to get in the way, but make the most of your visit asking lots of questions.
• Where appropriate help out.
Taster 3 - Who Has Helped Me ?
Aim: To think who has helped you and what impact it had.
Watch Pay It Forward”. A powerful and moving story of hope in the middle of helplessness. In the film a school teacher challenges his 11 year-old students to make a difference in the world. He gives it to them as an on-going assignment for the whole year. This challenge is listened to intently by Trevor who unknown to anyone else initially, decides to put an idea into practice. Trevor proposes an idea called “Pay It Forward”. He suggests that if you help 3 strangers for no reason but to help them, and then they did the same, before you know it you could have made a big difference.
• Can you think of someone who has helped you? C
• What did that mean to you?
• What did you learn?
Read James 2:14-19. The point is that you can make a difference, and that your faith must be demonstrated through action as well as prayer. It’s the little things that make all the difference, you can tell someone cares for you when they take the time to ask how you are, to offer you a drink or listen to what you have to say. That is exactly what Jesus was like. He did some amazing things e.g. feeding thousands, heating the sick, but he wasn’t just about the up front stuff. He went out his way to do the little things, that were compassionate and kind. The really amazing thing was that these were done when no-one was really looking, e.g. chatting to a socially outcast woman at a well, eating with those the rest of society hated or just caring enough to notice, he lived his life as an act of kindness to others.
Now follow this example and play the Generosity Game. Do something good for someone anonymously, but pass on a card from the “Generosity Game” template to the recipient of your good deed. On one side, they say:
Its Your Turn
On the other, they give these instructions:
This is for you!
Now it’s your turn: go do something good for someone else. - - -
Do it anonymously.
Pass on this card.
So the card passes itself on!
Do something really kind, but really imaginative. Be careful not to be intrusive or insensitive or the act of kindness may backfire! ... or not!
• How did you feel when you had done your act?
• Did you want to tell someone?
• Was it hard to keep it a secret?
• How did the other person react?
• Did they notice?
Tips / Advice:
Make sure that what you are doing will be appreciated. You might like to check with someone who knows them well.
Christian Faith - Send Me.
Aim: To consider what your calling is in serving God in your church and local community.
When you have decided how you are going to reach out use this activity time to focus on why you think God has called you to this.
• What impact do you think the project has had on the local community or group you are serving?
• How do you think it could have a longer lasting effect?
• How can what has been started continue?
Read IsaIah 6:8
And then I heard the voice or the Master:
Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?” I spoke up I’ll go. Send me!”
• What impact has this made on your life?
• Do you feel you have served God?
• How do you feel your church has served the community?
In your prayer consider how you think God is calling you to serve in your church and your local community.
Project - the Noise
Aim: To take part in a Noise Project.
Elvis Presley famously sang “A little less conversation a little more action, and the Noise Project believe he was onto something... Let your actions do the talking.
The Noise is about action. Taking the love of Jesus to our streets and towns in practical ways through acts of service, love and generosity. It’s about following Jesus and doing some simple servant hearted stuff where you live.., clearing up a run down estate, setting up a sports project for local kids or doing some gardening for an elderly person. Go on, connect the dots between saying and doing, and show your faith by what you do (James 2:18).
The Noise is about using acts and deeds of service to communicate the heart of the good news. It’s a practical way to reach out to the community that everyone can get into. Typically, it can involve a group of people getting together and deciding to clean up the local shopping parade. This might include litter picking, scrubbing off graffiti or even repainting a wall.
These short term projects are effective for a number of reasons. Firstly, they are very inclusive. Anyone that can pick up litter, wash a car or scrub a wall gets to take part, whether a toddler or older. Secondly,
they’re a lot of fun as long as you don’t take on too much. Just get all of your friends along and you’re sure to enjoy the activity. Thirdly, there are visible results. Problems that local residents have been looking at for months, such as an alleyways filled with rotting mattresses, kitchen sinks and other rubbish, can be cleaned up in a couple of afternoons. Finally, they’re effective because there’s integrity in walking the talk.
In simple terms the Noise is really just a way of doing what Jesus did, expressing God’s love to our neighbours. The Noise gives us a chance to do small acts of service — things that go beyond the normal
societal expectations, because we love God and want people to know that.
What do I need to do?
1. Pray The foundation of everything we do should be based in prayer, Coming to God with our dreams and ideas is a great way of starting off any initiative, submitting it to him and spending time thoughtfully processing the response.
2. Get people on board You might want to write a little project proposal outlining what you’d love to see happen and briefly explain how you intend to get there.
3. Do some research Whatever you intend to do, its a good idea to do a bit of research to highlight that there is a need for the suggested project. There’s no use organising a liner pick if a park has a very good set of park rangers who keep the place nice and tidy.
4. Get planning Once you’ve got a team together and have defined the need you hope to meet then you can start planning. This might be quite a simple part of The process, especially if your project is fairly small. You’ll need to consider exactly what you’re going to do, how you’re going to get people to the project location, what tools you need, how long it will take and all sorts of other questions too,
5. Advertise Depending on what you are doing, you’ll need to use some method of publicity, both to recruit volunteers and to let the community know what you’re doing so they turn up.
6. Act Well, the only thing left is to act!
7. Follow up Now you’ve done the weekend or the project you can relax. Well not quite. The Noise isn’t supposed to be a one off hit and run event where we suddenly bombard the community and disappear, pleased with our own goodness. The point is that as we serve indiscriminately we get to know individual people.
Ideas that have worked before...
All of the projects below have worked at events around the country in the past, try one, all or any combination of them over your Noise weekend:
• Litter picking
• Car wash
• Sports events
• Extreme makeover
• Community party
• Run a temporary nail bar
• Organise some dance classes
• Create and host a temporary skate park
• Organise a under 18’s nightclub/party
• Put on a gig
• Run a few DJ workshops
Whatever you’re doing we’d love to hear from you. Register your project with The Noise at www.soulaction.org/thenoise, and keep BB HQ up to date with how evening is going.
This information is based on content from www.soulaction.org/thenoise. The Noise is a project from Soul Action a partnership between Tearfund and Soul Survivor.
Go to www.soulaction.org/thenoise for more information, ideas and resources.
• Have a look at the promo movie to get an idea of what the Noise might look like.
• Actions Speak Louder — Actions Speak Louder is the fantastic book from Soul Action. If you’ve ever wanted to make a difference but struggled to know what you should do or how to go about it, Actions Speak Louder is the book for you. Filled with practical suggestions and inspiring stories of people who have made a change in their own lives, this book will be a real help to you.
• GO:LOCAL — Want to serve your community effectively? Everything you need to get moving is in G0:LOCAL, a CDROM packed full of info On how to do effective Jesus centred social action in your area. What’s the need, how can your church effectively bless people, what’s possible? It’s different in each situation; you just have to GO:LOCAL to find out.
• You could use this to work towards the 125 Community Award’. The Brigade has been bringing hope to communities and young people for 125 years and we want to celebrate and recognise that during our anniversary. All Companies and members are challenged to participate in projects that will benefit your local areas and communities. Participation will be recognised by the award of a special badge that can be worn in uniform. The 125 Community Badge is an award, which you can gain by doing different tasks that help by benefiting your local area and giving at least 125 minutes of community focussed service. The award is only applicable until the end of the 2008/2009 session.
• This work could also count towards your President’s Badge, Queen’s Badge, and Young Volunteer Award.
• The project could be nominated for the BB Go MAD” (Make a Difference) award.
• Remember that through all you do towards this you are sharing the gospel with your actions, whether it is meeting a need, simply blessing people or just being a good neighbour. Each hour we give to serve others is an hour where we worship God by following Jesus’ example.
Safety Issues / Risk Assessment:
• The Boys Brigade and Soul Action regulations should be followed.
• Ensure Risk Assessments are completed for each project.
For full details see the BB Seniors Challenge Plus Pro Pack, Community Project C-6