now also hosts a Head Start after-school program that serves 72 students. New Church of Joy in Waukegan, Illinois, ministers to over 2,000 kids every week, hosting Sidewalk Sunday School in area parks, tutoring students at a success center and equipping them for ministry through a teen leadership program. The ministry, which started in an apartment and moved to offices in Zion, now operates in an $8 million YMCA facility recently given to the ministry. “When we launched Sidewalk Sunday School, we didn’t have a truck or supplies,” says Tricia Reyes, co-founder of Sidewalk Sunday School and Reach a Generation, an outreach to children and teens in Greater Chicago. “My husband was determined that even if he had to use his car, he was going to reach kids with the gospel.” They purchased a flower delivery truck, which a friend refurbished. Now, the ministry has a fleet of Sidewalk Sunday School trucks and buses that pick up kids in 20 cities in Greater Chicago. “A lot of our students were graduating, so we started a Bible college,” she says. Ministering to children is also important for New Life Church Milton in Ontario, Canada. Pastor Dan Rogge started the church with nine people “in the middle of nowhere,” he says. Today it is a growing multicultural congregation of 500 members. When Rogge started the church, he had no idea that a major development was planned around the church property until he submitted plans to build a storage facility, which the City of Milton declined to approve as it would be an “eyesore.” New Life has built a black-box theater and a facility with breakout rooms for youth. The church also created Firm Foundation, an after-school program to teach morality to children, and after learning that the deaf in the community were not being reached, Rogge launched the New Life Deaf Church with captioning. At Peerless Road Church, a ministry of the Church of God of Prophecy (COGOP), in Cleveland, Tennessee, Pastor Brian Sutton led his congregation to help a distressed neighborhood. “We prayed for this neighborhood and the needs of this neighborhood,” Sutton says. “As we prayed, we tried giving away food, and God opened doors for us.” The need for food led to the launch 56 MinistryToday May // June 2016
People have been “healed and delivered” through Peerless Road Church’s weekly ministry of food distribution.
of Serve, a church outreach that ministers to 85 to 110 families every first and third Saturday. “On a typical Saturday, we’ll gather with a food distribution truck,” Sutton says. “We fill up the truck and have volunteers of every age meet us at the church to sort it and serve it. Saturday has grown into a time of worship as we have seen people healed and delivered. They will come back and testify.” The church gives away 250 backpacks filled with school supplies to children. “Right before school starts, we have a local cosmetology school that donates their staff (services) to cut hair,” Sutton says. “Every kid gets a free haircut, backpack filled with supplies, and they hear a gospel message. We have bounce houses and give out hot dogs. We have partners who want to help us give away over 500 backpacks.” Kansas City’s 64130 zip code is home to several families with family members who are convicted murderers. Hope City, a 6-year-old ministry in that area, is an outreach of the International House of Prayer Kansas City (IHOPKC) and Forerunner Christian Church. The prayer room is the heart of Hope City’s ministry to drug addicts, alcoholics and families. “When my wife and I got saved, we both had to go back and do some time in jail,” says Stribling, director of Hope City. “When we got out, we always had a heart for ministering to people on
the streets.” Stribling says that lasting change and freedom starts in the prayer room. “I’ve been in the 12-step programs and addiction recovery,” he says. “When you sit in the prayer room, you encounter the Lord.” Encompassing half a city block, Hope City has a food pantry and a community center, which is open for anyone to take a shower, get a hot meal or cup of coffee and use WiFi. The center also has a residential program for interns and 30-35 people in addiction recovery. The pantry provides meals for up to 1,000 families a month through a partnership with Harvesters Network. “When someone comes to the community center, they don’t have to go to the prayer room, but most of the time the music draws them,” Stribling says. “I’ve led so many people to the Lord who walk into these doors.” In Adairsville, Georgia, a town with a population of about 4,600, Tina Spellman wanted Living Way Church of Foursquare to be a “transformational church.” To fulfill that vision, Pastor Spellman launched community gatherings at locations such as businesses, schools, military bases and courthouses. The purpose of the gatherings is to build relationships and invite people into the community of faith. The congregation also houses the
Serving rising leaders within the church by empowering them with effective tools for Spirit-led ministry.