Answering the five key questions
- Who is it for? (e.g. Church members; Invitees only; General Public or?)
- What will it do? (Any 'non-food' social activity with a purpose - e.g. learning or leisure etc)
- Where will it be? (e.g. Church Facilities; Hired Hall; Community Facility; Private Home or?)
- Who is providing it? (e.g. Age range; Availability; Qualifications; Christians only?)
- How will it be funded? (e.g. Church; Charity/Trust; Fee; Voluntary; Public Funds or?)
These questions will help to define your model. It must work for you in your community and be sustainable.
- Have you checked if anything similar is being offered in this area? (click here for the Information Factsheet)
- Have you thought about all the possible benefits from this work?
- Have you contacted other Churches to learn from their experience?
It is important to remember that whilst needs vary, for each individual it is their perceived need which is important to them. Focussing primarily on meeting needs, though, could foster a “dependency culture”. The focus therefore needs to include encouraging everyone to use their skills to the maximum, all the time, with peers, and the community beyond!
Joy in dependency
The ultimate objective of the work must be to address the real need of every individual – the need to be saved by faith in Jesus Christ; to depend on Him for salvation. To know the joy of Faith in Jesus in Later Life transcends everything. Some will have known this joy from years ago; for others it will be a joy they come to know in their Later Life.
Each model will have different ‘gospel’ opportunities at different times that need to be prayerfully and intentionally incorporated from the outset:
- ‘Salt and light’ – showing the love of God with perhaps no, or very low key, gospel content
- Events with speakers
- Courses and discussion groups - studying Christianity and the Bible
- One to one opportunities to read the Bible
- To integrate individuals into a church that can disciple them in the ways of Jesus Christ.
You might find material from the following categories of the Information section of the website, useful:
Providing services and facilities for the general public brings inevitable responsibilities. These will vary according to what you are doing and how you are delivering it. Consider:
- Basic Procedures and Policies
- Training for all Volunteers and Helpers
- Insurance – Public Liability, Transport
- Health and Safety
- Food Hygiene
- Public Sector Requirements