Doing Things in Public Together as a Church

I have been thinking recently about how we can do a better job of reaching out to the community. So I found the following post by Brian Thornton on doing things in public together as a church interesting. Here are some excerpts:

I have heard it said that we (as believers) gather together on Sundays to get equipped/energized so that we can then go out into the world to be a witness for Christ. And I agree with that. But, so often, once we depart from being together with our brothers and sisters within the confines of the four walls of the church building, we become soloists … In other words, the world doesn’t really see the church together, in public, interacting with one another …

The Lord Jesus Christ said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another”, but how will all people know this if the only place you express love for your brothers and sisters is inside the walls of your church?

I fear that the visible church is only visible on Sundays and Wednesdays, and even then it is not the church which is visible, but rather just the gathering of cars in a parking lot!

Brian goes on to suggest that the church do more things in public together as a church body.

I am not saying every single thing we do should be done within the view of the world, but perhaps we could give the world a taste of our love for one another if we conduct at least some of our activities out in a public setting.

If your Sunday School class has regular get-togethers, schedule some of them at the local Chili’s or Golden Coral. Let the world see you having fun together and enjoying each others’ company.

If you have small Bible study groups which meet during the week at church or in homes, plan to have one or two of them a month at the local Starbuck’s or Atlanta Bread Company. Let the world see you opening the Word of God together and praying for one another.

If you have annual church-wide gatherings, schedule at least one of them a year in public. Have a church picnic at a public park or facility that can hold a larger group of people. Let the world see that your church loves being together.

They will know we are Christians by our love, but only if they actually see us together, loving one another in the world. They will not know anything about that love if we continue to stay holed up in the comfort of our buildings and homes.

What do you think? Are there things your church has done to be more visible as the church in the community?

HT: ekklesia


  1. Sharon Gamble says:

    Our church baptizes publicly. We go down to the river near the tall grass and sing hymns and baptize each summer. It certainly attracts some attention – smile! It is always a joyous occasion and the setting even looks somewhat Biblical with the tall grasses blowing. Not sure if anyone has been attracted to Christianity because of it, but we always have a great time and that, perhaps is a witness in itself.

  2. Ray Fowler says:

    Sharon – I definitely like outdoor baptisms. And when it can be done in a public place, it is a wonderful witness to those in the community who see it. Of course, the tradeoff is that it is usually harder to get everyone from your church there, too!

    Anybody else have any ideas for getting out and doing things in public together as a church?

  3. Barrie says:

    Ray, a good outing for a church is on the National Day of Prayer. Visit your local city hall and pray on the steps.

  4. Ray Fowler says:

    Barrie – Great example! This is a good way to be out in public as a church. It is even better if you can promote it some in the community the week before so that others can participate.

  5. C’mon!

    Now why didn’t I think of that?!

    Thanks for sharing. It’s so simple, yet potentially so powerful.

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