Your church is on a Faith in Action journey to "BE the church" in ministry to neighbors near and far. There are many potential paths you could pursue toward that goal. Which of the following action areas would most help your church expand its involvement in effective outreach? Take into consideration the current status of your church's external ministry (see the tool "Assessing Your Church's Community Involvement"), Try to identify two or three key priorities. Then follow up on the next page.
External orientation: embrace a commitment to outreach mission as part of the church's DNA, integral to the church's organizational structure
Spiritual foundation: help the congregation deepen their grasp of the biblical calling to faith in action and renew their spiritual commitment
Expand awareness: enlarge the congregation's understanding of the needs in our nation and world, the principles of transformational development, and stories of effective ministry models
Seed ministry: motivate the congregation through first-step service projects or mission trips that expose people to needs and to the experience of serving others
Transformational approach: reorient current ministries to move beyond giving material aid to nurture relationships with people in need; beyond individual needs to community-wide dimensions of social problems; and beyond "band-aid" relief to long-term development
Spiritual nurture: take steps to enrich the spiritual life of outreach staff and volunteers, and to provide spiritual care for those served by compassion ministries
Community connections: research needs and assets in the community to better come alongside the church's neighbors; network and build bridges of caring and solidarity
Ministry vision: move strategically toward practical ministry goals grounded in the desires of community stakeholders, the church's capacity and the Spirit's leading
Program development: organize plans for new outreach programs; expand knowledge and skills related to effective ministry strategies, activities and administration
Ministry partnerships: identify and build relationships with individuals, institutions and other churches with common kingdom goals
Ministry resources: develop a base of funds, volunteers, and other resources needed to implement a ministry vision
Volunteer mobilization: equip and energize the congregation to participate actively in the ministry vision
Invitational outreach: encourage the congregation to draw in unchurched friends and neighbors through the church's community ministry
Leadership development: equip current and emerging leaders to guide the church's ministry journey and effectively manage ministry programs
Best-practice mentoring: Seek to learn from other churches more experienced in holistic, transformational ministry
Other: (You describe here.)
What specific actions or resources can help you take the steps you have identified?
(contacts, curriculum, training programs, models, partners, consultants, conferences, volunteer resources, books, websites, retreat, prayer summit, ministry exposure trips, vision team, etc.)
See the list of "Resources on Church-Based Community Ministry."
Adapted with permission from Ministry Inventory Guide: Assess Your Church’s Ministry Capacity and Identity by Heidi Unruh (2007), www.urbanministry.org.