A Community Door Opener

by Don Maddox

When you first come to town, how can you quickly get to know community leaders?

The police chief, the mayor, the superintendent of schools-they know volumes about the community, they shape public perceptions of your congregation, they can make or break community support for your church's outreach and activities. But how do you get acquainted? Many of these prominent citizens do not attend church, or if they do, not yours.

I know if I announce myself as Pastor Maddox at a reception desk, I'll likely hear, "She's in conference," or "He can't be disturbed, but if you care to leave your card, I'm sure he'll get back to you."

But thanks to a modest and enjoyable investment of time each week, I talked at length with over thirty opinion leaders of Corona, California, where I recently pastored.

How did I do it?

I became a newspaper columnist.

It led to greater public awareness of our church, relationships with the people we needed to know when our church prepared ...

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