A decade ago, Cornerstone church (Chantily, Va.) members purchased property in a developing community. Now, with the property paid for and Stone Ridge boasting more than 10,000 residents, members decided it was the time to get serious about building and reaching the community.
“While we were still raising money for our building project, we decided we shouldn’t let that stop us from using the property to bless our neighbors,” says Rick James, senior pastor. “We decided to create a simple prayer garden where individuals could enjoy quiet time with God.” Construction of the garden created a buzz in the neighborhood. Some left notes of encouragement, others contacted the Home Owners Association (HOA) to learn more and one woman emailed the pastor.
Meanwhile, Johns was asked by a pharmacist at Walgreens if members would partner to do a community health fair. They immediately agreed to coordinate the event and soon had over a dozen health related businesses who wanted to participate.
At the health fair, members passed out invitations to their worship service open house and invited them to make use of the prayer garden. “Many visitors expressed interest in the church and asked questions about our faith and how they could visit the church,” said Johns. “We feel confident that many people left with a very positive impression of the church. Not only that, but relationships were built with the HOA, hospital and many local businesses that can be a blessing for years to come!”