Pastors and congregations often do not have effective strategies for engaging their community. Without an intentional strategy for civic engagement, however, churches often remain disengaged from their communities, and not fully relevant to them. This is a problem. The local school board, Chamber of Commerce, Departments of Public Safety, and other civic agencies are vehicles for engagement and change that must be intentionally utilized if the presence of the kingdom is to be maximized in every community.
Therefore, this study identifies eleven common strategies evangelical churches are using to successfully create networks of relationships with local civic agencies. These strategies fall into two categories: Internal Civic Engagement Strategies (ICES) and External Civic Engagement Strategies (ECES). A single Bridge Strategy is also identified that links ICES and ECES. This project is valuable for church leaders who are interested in creating networks of relationships with local civic agencies and community leaders.
Civic engagement is something that the Bible shows us we need to do without specifically telling us directly to do it. Scripture illustrates how the Old Testament patriarchs were civically engaged, how Jesus engaged with civic officials, and how the New Testament apostles practiced engagement. Fifteen different biblical examples of civic activity are demonstrated in this study. These biblical examples suggest that civic engagement is one element of being a follower of God.
|Adviser||D. Bruce Seymour|
|School||TALBOT SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY, BIOLA UNIVERSITY|
|Subjects||Religion; Biblical studies; Theology|
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