Be Excellent To Each Other
We love The Message translation of Genesis 1:31: – “God looked over everything he had made; it was so good, so very good!”
It’s a little reminder that our God is a God of excellence – he doesn’t settle for second best.
It’s a theme we see throughout the Bible, perhaps best demonstrated when God sent his only son to live with us and die for us. It doesn’t get any bigger than that!
God has given and served us with only his very best, so it naturally follows that we should do things excellently ourselves.
Perhaps there is great wisdom in the words of those inadvertent time travelling philosophers from the late 1980s, Bill and Ted, when they said, “be excellent to each other!”
In Pursuit of Excellent Social Action
And that’s what Cinnamon is really all about. We want to help churches take God’s call to serve others and do something about it that is truly excellent.
A couple of years ago we set out to bottle the tips and techniques of effective social action, so we could help more churches create their own excellent initiatives.
We called it our Community Transformation Project Pilot and, with funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, we explored the best way to help churches to do more social action, more effectively and more efficiently.
What became crystal clear was the sheer complexity of the issues that churches are facing. But we also saw excellence in abundance!
We came away with some great insights, ideas and really tangible tips that helped us to formulate our Cinnamon Impact Pathway, which we use to guide churches who want to impact their communities.
Then Came the Next Problem
There are some 50,000 churches in the UK. Personally interacting with each and every one would take us a very long time and, quite frankly, communities can’t wait.
But we believe that knowledge and good ideas need to be shared and it turns out that our friends at The National Lottery Community Fund do too.
When we told them about our plans to share our ideas and get more churches involved in social action, they jumped at the chance of supporting our work. They have agreed to fund the next phase of our Community Transformation Project to the tune of £447,474.
Over the course of the next two and a half years, Cinnamon will use the grant to deliver:
- an interactive online toolkit to help churches get started in social action;
- peer support and shared learning opportunities for churches;
- one-to-one and group support with specialist advisors;
- greater collaboration between churches and other sectors.
Our Ambitions Are Big – Very Big Indeed
During the funding period, more than 300 churches will use the Toolkit and receive expert advice from a Cinnamon Advisor to help them use their buildings and resources to respond to community need.
Training will be provided for 350 volunteers who will set up 70 best-practice projects, in partnership with others, which will impact the lives of over 2,800 of the most vulnerable and marginalised members of society.
Learning from this project will also be shared with over 2,000 social activists through 46 regional events.
Churches Are Uniquely Placed
We are so excited about helping churches achieve excellence. By excellence, we’re not talking about highly polished Instagramable projects that are unattainable for the average village congregation.
We’re talking about initiatives that get to the heart of what matters to communities, connect with the messy issues at the centre of people’s lives and genuinely make a long-term difference.
Churches are uniquely placed with an ability to impact communities with reach and depth that secular organisations simply cannot. We can help them unlock that potential and create truly excellent projects that transform our nation.
You’ll be hearing more about specific aspects of the Community Transformation Project over the few next weeks and months. So, if you’re a social activist, a church leader or passionate about volunteering, we’d love to hear from you￼.
In the meantime, ‘be excellent to each other.’
Find out more about the Community Transformation Project