Salt & Light: A Guide to Loving Northwest Indiana

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Being salt and light in our communities is often an exciting, yet daunting endeavor. Engaging our communities for the common good may be new ground for many of us, and unknown territory can certainly be intimidating. As your hearts are inspired by the possibilities of what could be in Northwest Indiana, and as your compassion is stirred to help others in our communities, it is important to remember a few guiding principles. Here are six helpful tips to keep in mind as you push out of your comfort zones and bring glory to God by making a difference for the common good of Northwest Indiana: CWX]Z ?T^_[T =^c 9dbc ?a^YTRcb When engaging in salt and light ministry, our natural inclination is to simply tackle work projects. We tend to gravitate toward building, paintPUN HUK Ă„_PUN 3LHR` MH\JL[Z IYVken stairs, and moldy basements are tangible issues that can be addressed immediately, and they should be dealt with promptly. '# } =Tgc BcT_b

However, focusing solely on physical tasks while ignoring the relational component will often leave us, and those we serve, with an emptiness inside. In addition, concentrating on projects alone can fuel a “rescuerâ€? mentality that may perpetuate problems in our communities inadvertently.1 As humans made in the image of God, we were created to be relational beings. We were designed to relate to God, to one another, to our world around us, and to ourselves.2 Relationships are critical to any salt and light ministry efforts because relating to others allows us to discover deeper issues. In other words, relationships allow us to get to the hearts of people. Projects are a great way to demonstrate loving acts of kindness to folks in need, but generally should be used as a catalyst for building relationships. Jesus demonstrated this in his ministry. /L JHTL [V Ă„_ OLHS HUK TLUK Âś IV[O spiritually and physically – but he did

so generally in the context of relationships. Consider how you might be able to start a relationship with someone by meeting an immediate issue. You may be able to spot additional needs beyond a broken pipe. ! AT\T\QTa cWPc BP[c ;XVWc <X]Xbcah AT`dXaTb F^aSb P]S 3TTSb Salt and light ministry is a delicate balance of words and deeds, but one that must be struck in order to effectively serve our communities for the cause of Christ. Individuals should be careful to avoid leaning too heavily on Word only ministry (evangelism) as the primary method for community transformation if doing so means losing sight of the importance of meeting real and present needs. 6U [OL V[OLY OHUK [OVZL aLHSV\Z VUS` for doing good deeds (social justice) run the risk of not articulating the very gospel message that brings salvation to everyone who believes,3 opting