Sarah Palin made fun of Barack Obama being a community organizer, but there are a lot of people who add value to their community by organizing neighborhood citizens to accomplish more together than they could individually.

It’s no accident most organization starts within a church, and most community activist leaders are church leaders.  In this context, it’s no wonder Martin Luther King and Ralph Abernathy were both pastor and civil rights leaders, and why seminary student Jesse Jackson got diverted from the pulpit toward community action.

The people who trained Barack Obama were trained at the Gamaliel Foundation.  I went to their website and found a list of great manuals.  I recommend the Conversion Toolkit in the “Faith and Democracy” section.

The purpose of that manual is to engage people in our congregations more deeply about what they hope for in their lives.”  It is written to get people trained to solve social problems, but the lessons about the process are useful to teach you how to lead them in learning the church mission and purposes.  (It also resembles some of the building fund campaign literature I’ve read.)

It won’t write your message for you, but once you know where you want to take your congregation, it will help you structure your approach to training them to take action in your community.