The Most Important Things a Pastor Can Do To Connect With His Local Community

Pastor Bob Combs has been in ministry for over forty years.  “For all those who know him,” says Timothy Kurtaneck of CE National, “there is no denying that he is one good looking guy!”  We asked Pastor Bob to share what he has seen to be the most important parts of a pastor connecting with his community and here is what he has shared with us:

I’m grateful for my connection with my community. Nearly everyone knows that I’m the “Good Looking Pastor” and that I keep looking better every day.

Be Approachable
People need to know that YOU know you’re human, not just some Holy Man that can’t
identify with them. One of my greatest compliments came from a man who was an
alcoholic, wore a ponytail and never even attended our church. He said, “You’re not a pastor, you’re a friend.” I cherish that statement.

Be Available
Make yourself available to your community.
Join a service club. You build relationships with the leaders in the community. Without a relationship, there is no influence.
Connect with the schools. Be there to help, avoid criticism.

Be Accepting
I have used this statement for over 35 years: “Accept people where they are so you can take them where they need to go.” Jesus did this quite well: the woman at the well, (John 4), the woman caught in adultery (John 8), etc. If the people who live in your community don’t feel acceptable, they will never trust you to take them to Jesus. It’s unlikely they will attend your church.

Be Authentic
People in our communities have been betrayed by parents, teachers, churches,
fellow workers. People are starved for their friends and community leaders to be real. God wants us to be real. He wants us to love our world with a Godly love.

I’m very grateful for ways we have connected with our community. The result has been the transformation of lives.

Pastor Bob Combs is a frequent guest speaker for the youth ministry courses offered by The National Institute.  His passion for sharing what he has learned about ministering to and with people—especially those most hurting– has been invaluable. If only his “good lookingness” was as easy taught to the all of us!

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