MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Churches are often an important part of the community where they’re located. We’re talking with the Pastor of Outbreak Ministries in Mobile, Bryant Pugh–what role should a church play in a community?

Guest: Matthew 5 teaches us We are the salt of the earth and also The light of the world. It is my belief that the church should be the standard by which a community lives.

Anchor: What do you think happens first? Does a community form around a church or does a church form around a community?

Guest: That’s a very good question. I believe it’s a perfect mixture of both. For a Church to be effective it must allow God to establish its voice. We may all serve the same savor but not every voice is meant for every community. Then we must operate in the avenue assigned to that voice. But also as a result of finding your voice the people, your voice is calling to will naturally gravitate towards you.

Anchor: What can a congregation do when demographics change and the congregation is different from the community that surrounds it?

Guest: It must first be honest about this fact and then work to reach across the isle and gather information to develop a strategy to best serve its community.

Anchor: How does a church become more of a part of its community?

Guest: I think by following the way Jesus did it. By getting out into the community and finding out what the community needs. But in doing this you have to be willing to get your hands dirty. Ministry is not always pretty. You can’t affect what you’re not willing to be affected by. Jesus in most cases healed a community before he changed it.