The Forster Tuncurry Church of Christ received a Mission & Ministry Grant to support a Community Family Fun Day. Our church meets off the beaten path so we wanted to raise awareness of our presence to our community neighbours. As a church community, we wanted to offer something that would be free, fun, and family oriented. We combined the day with carols and a short gospel message.
The response from the community was astounding. Over 300 people joined in over the course of a few hours, which is a big number for our small town! We are now planning to hold this as an annual event for our church, where we choose to forego our usual ‘Sunday service’ in order to connect with the local community.
During the course of connection, a woman that we knew who attended the Community Family Fun Day, approached our church with a proposal to use a portion of our facility as a Party Play Centre for Hire. After completing our due diligence, we decided that this would be a great opportunity to go to the next level of community engagement. In opening our facility to the local community, we can become a presence in people’s lives.
We believe that before people want to hear anything from our mouths, they need to trust. This opportunity will provide the space to build that much needed trust with 1) our space, 2) our face, 3) us. It will also provide us with a small revenue stream to keep the church sustainable towards the future.
The opportunity to have the local community visit our facility is something that does not happen naturally today and is steadily on the decline. If we are to engage with our local community, then we need to meet a need that is presented as an initial meeting point, and be willing to build from there.
We foresee this space being used for ‘extracurricular playgroups’, as a creche for courses/programs that we intentionally run for parents/adults with children, and as an opportunity for our church facility to be used to reach out to families.