Salt & Light: A Guide to Loving Northwest Indiana

Page 101

SALT & LIGHT

STARTING POINTS FOR CHURCHES

)` /LPKP <UY\O (UK` 9P[[LUOV\ZL1

Given all of the options, how do you Ă„UK [OL YPNO[ TPUPZ[Y` VUYHTW MVY `V\Y JO\YJO& /LYL HYL Ă„]L WV[LU[PHS Z[HY[PUN points: BcPac FXcW P BRaX_cdaT God’s Word is living and active (Hebrews 4:12)! A sermon on Jesus’ healing ministry may spark interest in local health concerns. A Bible study on Isaiah 58:6-7 (“Is this not the kind of fasting I have chosen...to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelterâ€?) can lead the group to examine issues of hunger and homelessness. Jesus’ words in Matthew 25:36, “I was in prison and you came to visit me,â€? might point members to connect with a prison ministry. Be prepared to walk through the doors God’s Spirit will open when people study Scripture and take its applications seriously. ! BcPac FXcW P 2^]RTa] Perhaps a family in your congregation has been struggling with addiction. Perhaps someone in your church was moved by an article about a woman’s journey out of prostitution. Perhaps

members are growing alarmed at the number of jobless families in the church and community. Perhaps a small group has expressed a heart for serving elderly shut-ins. Identify the issues that are relevant to your congregation or that generate passion, then Ă„UK V\[ ^OH[ PZ HSYLHK` ILPUN KVUL PU this area and how you might get on board. " BcPac fXcW P] >aVP]XiPcX^] Which community-serving organizations (many listed in this guidebook) represent an existing connection or UH[\YHS Ă„[ MVY `V\Y JVUNYLNH[PVU& Consider an agency located near the church, or in the same denomination. ,_WHUK H YLSH[PVUZOPW ^P[O H UVUWYVĂ„[ where the church has donated money. Encourage members to recommend organizations where they work or volunteer, or where they have received assistance. Ask other churches about positive experiences with ministry collaboration.

and fund-raising connections? A gym you could offer to a local youth ministry? A pool of retirees potentially available for volunteer service? A group of members skilled in construction? Explore ways to invest these assets in the community. Maximize your impact by connecting these resources with other community-serving groups. $ BcPac fXcW P =TXVWQ^aW^^S This may be the neighborhood where your church is located or a community where your church feels led to serve. Explore opportunities for community ministry by doing background research, developing relationships, and spending time praying and hanging out in the neighborhood. Ask a wide variety of local people about concerns, resources, and possibilities for ministry collaboration. Look for individuals or organizations having a positive impact on life in the community, and discover how you can join in.

# BcPac fXcW P ATb^daRT Take inventory of what assets your church has to share: Access to funds =Tgc BcT_b } '&