The church in the local community

Worship

The main function of a local church is as a place for Christians to worship. Bible study groups and Sunday schools run by local churches are opportunities to worship and learn more about Christianity. Rites of passage, such as baptisms, confirmations and marriages, are held in local churches, encouraging the involvement of the community.

Social and community functions

Many Christians work to help their communities become better places to live. They see this as putting their Christian faith into action.

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Jesus taught that people cannot love God if they ignore those in need: “If anyone has material possessions and ignores his brother in need, how can he love God? (1 John 3:17)”.

Christian churches are often open all day for quiet reflection, and everyone is welcome to attend their services. In this way, churches can provide support to the lonely and help those in need.

Many Christians volunteer for local charities, and some churches run food banks from their halls. Some Christians volunteer as street pastors, going out onto the streets at night to care for the homeless and those who are at risk. This practice flows from one of Jesus’ key teachings:

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Love your neighbour as yourself.Mark 12:31

The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army is a Christian charity. It carries out its work in a number of different ways:

  • setting up food kitchens
  • organising toy collections at Christmas
  • operating an advice network
  • running affordable nurseries so that parents can work and provide for their families
  • providing summer camps and after-school clubs to provide children with a safe environment where they can gain independence and life skills
  • attending political conferences to raise the concerns of society’s most vulnerable people
  • supporting people addicted to drugs, alcohol and other substances
  • fighting to end modern-day slavery
  • organising events for the elderly to reduce isolation
Question

Why do Christians try to reflect Jesus in their actions?

Jesus spent a lot of time helping those who were in need.