Augsburg Fortress

Engage! Tools for Ministry in the Community

Engage! Tools for Ministry in the Community

Author Dana Horrell has called on his years of experience in community action to create this practical guide to help congregations reach out to their local communities. Church leaders often want to do more to engage their community contexts, but when it comes to the actual "how-to-do-it," they find themselves blocked. Engage! provides practical and proven tools to help leaders develop methods and strategies to get started and break through these barriers.

These tools, twenty-six in all, are drawn from a variety of sources, including congregations, church consultants, researchers, and nonprofit organizations. Some of these tools have a long history of use and may seem quite familiar, while others may seem new and untested, yet intriguing. These tools represent best practices and have been tried somewhere and found a degree of success.

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  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9781506452043
  • eBook ISBN 9781506452050
  • Dimensions 5.5 x 8.5
  • Pages 128
  • Publication Date April 2, 2019


"Finally! A book that goes beyond the theology of community engagement to the concrete steps required to be in meaningful ministry with our congregation's neighbors. The strength of this book is its clear and easy-to-understand tools, which are practical and tested. Lay leaders and pastors will be encouraged by the accessibility of the many ways they can roll up their sleeves and begin (or deepen) the ministry they have always hoped for."

Cynthia Woolever, coeditor, The Parish Paper

"Dana Horrell has written a book full of practical suggestions, not only for making a home in a new land, but also for serving the needs of neighbors there. It is a book for mission-minded leaders of mission-dedicated congregations."

Donald W. Shriver, Jr., president emeritus, Union Theological Seminary

"Engage! is filled with practical tools that will help any congregation that is serious about getting more engaged with their community. Of particular note are the chapters that focus on helping church members get fully engaged in the process of developing and implementing new ministry--one of the more challenging aspects of the work."

Joy Skjegstad, author, 7 Creative Models for Community Ministry

Table of Contents

            1. Determine the Problem to be Solved
            2. Start a Project
            3. Recruit Volunteers
            4. Equip Volunteers
            5. Fund Your work
            6. Build Capacity
            7. Prepare through Study
            8. Enlist Specialists
            9. Pose Questions about Your Experience
          10. Write It Up
          11. Cultivate Self-Awareness
          12. Do a Survey
          13. Hold a Focus Group
          14. Map Your Community 
          15. Conduct a Community Tour
          16. Do Social Analysis
          17. Encourage Team Dialogue 
          18. Start a Conversation with a Stranger
          19. Accompany Someone in Need
          20. Encourage and Support Personal Development
          21. Hold a One-on-One Interview
          22. Engage in Public Policy Deliberation
          23. Invite Someone to Share the Life of Faith
          24. Organize a Block Party
          25. Play Serious Games
          26. Engaging in Long-Term Community Development