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Getting There from Here: Starting Compassion Ministry in Your Congregation

Getting There from Here: Starting Compassion Ministry in Your Congregation

Like many Christians, you long to make a difference in the world. You believe in
God's plan to restore broken lives and rebuild troubled neighborhoods through local
mission that blends evangelism, relief services, advocacy and community development.
Whether you are a pastor, ministry staff, or lay member, you desire your church to become
a vessel for the healing, transforming presence of Christ in your community.

But, like many churches, your congregation may find it challenging to put its faith into
action. It's easy to be overwhelmed by all the needs and discouraged by the obstacles to
mobilizing the church for ministry. Many questions arise: What kind of ministry should we
do? Will the congregation support it? Where can we get funding and staff? How do we get
started? What steps will take us to the next level?

Effective outreach doesn’t just happen; it takes vision, purpose and planning. Vision
is the conviction that God is calling the church in a particular missional direction. A sense
of purpose unifies the congregation around the goals of God's kingdom. Planning lays out
the steps the church will take to fulfill its purpose by achieving the vision.

How does a church pursue these essential ministry ingredients? No church will travel
the same path to effective local outreach. Each congregation starts in a different place, has
a unique makeup and character, and ministers to a particular community context. While
there are no simple 1-2-3 steps to compassion ministry, there are three distinct phases that
most churches experience along the way. Each stage includes five action points. Some of
the points under each phase may follow in sequence; others may develop simultaneously.
As you read the the attached document, ask yourself: Where is my church now in this process?

Where do our strengths and weaknesses lie? This will point to what your next steps should

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