Florence Congregational Church
Thursday, February 20, 2020
A Place to Connect

Pastor Irv’s Corner - October 2014



October is my favorite month of the year.  It is a beautiful month of fall colors, warm days and cool nights.  And, Brenda and I got married in October thirty one years ago.  October is also the time we prepare for winter.  As we approach this awesome month, I am aware that we need to be preparing for things here at church too.  Along with the usual physical maintenance and preparations needed, we need to be preparing ourselves for the long winter promised.  You might want to dig out the “to do” list along with the long johns.

Over the course of this summer I have had numerous discussions with members about the presence of Florence Congregational Church in the community.  A new sign is in the works which will be installed at the ramp.  Some members have renewed efforts to reach out to the community to share news about our church.  We are determined to be intentional about engaging in Florence community life.  You have a stake in it too.

I have recently discovered an interesting article, 8 Ways Community Engagement Strategies Can Drive Business Returns written by Phil Preston.  Although written for “business” people hoping to make greater profits from the sales of their products, I found an interesting parallel to our work here at the church.  It is a mere shift to a theological reading of the text, versus philosophical.

Community engagement strategies are becoming more sophisticated… Knowing where to start can be tricky, so I’ve outlined eight entry points that you can use to kick start your strategy process:

1. Purpose: Re-examine your mission and express it in terms of societal benefit

2. Positioning: Integrate your unique assets and strengths into your strategies

3. Products: Harness social trends for product and market development

4. Productivity: Identify social factors constraining your business

5. Problems: A new lens for addressing business problems

6. Programs: Increase your return on existing or new community programs

7. Performers: Help your high performers stay with you for longer

8. People: Increase employee engagement for internal productivity

…The benefits of community engagement strategies haven’t always been properly recognized. To start your own explorations, focus on the two or three approaches listed here that are most relevant to your present circumstances. Start collecting and facilitating views from employees and other stakeholders, with the ultimate aim of improving society and the returns to your business.

Which of these approaches provides the greatest opportunity for you?

Do you not find these to be interesting points for consideration?  The full text of the article is clearly written for the “for profit” business strategist.  However, the eight points do have value for our work here at the church.  And yes, the church is “in business”…. the business of nurturing souls.  So, maybe we look for a different profit, namely to draw people to Christ.  The points do make sense since we are in many ways in competition to the marketers who say they have the answer to everyone’s problems, desires and goals.  I believe we have the better answers and need strategies to better engage with the community…. perhaps better compete in world market of lost souls.  My charge to you: Take an hour and sit with these points.  Make some notes of your own and then come see me.  What do you think?  How might these points help us in our work of connecting with the community?



In Christ, Pi

Florence Congregational Church • 130 Pine Street, Florence, Massachusetts 01062 • 413.584.1325


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