Last year our rector and Bishop, Steve Wood, asked the local mission committee to explore new and tangible ways we as a church might serve our community (our Jerusalem).
I am pleased to report that our work is done and we are excited to begin this new phase of our local mission/outreach in this community. You can read more about our local mission endeavors on our website at StAndrews.Church.
Beloved, to faithfully serve our community, it is helpful to know the underlying causes of poverty and how the church can help the poor and needy without hurting them.
I just finished reading an article written by David MacNeill entitled Four Ways to Serve Your Community. Please permit me to highlight these four ways, paraphrasing some of his points to meet our context.
- Serve those in our own church- In a church of our size, the needs of our less fortunate brothers and sisters can be overlooked. Oftentimes their needs go unnoticed or unmentioned because they feel uncomfortable to ask for help. We need to seek out the needy in our midst and serve them.
- Serve and speak the Gospel – Service projects are great. However, let us not think that doing a service project is mission. It is necessary to link our service to the Gospel. You see, we serve as a conduit to God’s love. The most loving task we can do is to offer a relationship with a loving God. We must be looking for opportunities to witness our faith and not just through our actions but verbally speaking the Gospel. If we are trying to transform people by the help of the Holy Spirit, let us live out our faith in word and deed and see what great things God will do.
- How to serve our neighbors? One of the many ways we can serve our community is by knowing our neighbors. I wonder what needs are within a mile of our church?
- Finally, we need to help and not hurt those we serve. We need to address broken systems and not throw resources at them. We must be careful not to do things for people that they can do for themselves, including resources which might undermine their abilities. We must identify their gifts and affirm their dignity.
Beloved, Holy Scripture commands us to use our time, talent, and treasures to help the poor and needy in our midst. But who are the poor and needy? And how do we help or serve them?
Missions Workshop: When Helping Hurts
The church is hosting a mission workshop on Saturday, October 16, 9 am to 3 pm. This workshop will explore poverty from a Christian worldview perspective and give us opportunities to think about how we can (and should) be using our time, talent, and treasure to help the poor –without hurting them. The reference for the workshop is the book “When Helping Hurts” by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert. A copy of the book will be provided to attendees.
The workshop will be facilitated by Mr. George Green, III, of Water Mission. We are encouraging the members of the vestry, ministry leaders, Life Group leaders, missions committee members, our church plants leaders and individual members who are interested in mission work to attend. The workshop is free and lunch will be served. Register now on our website.
It is our prayer that the Lord will use this church to make a difference and a Gospel impact in this community.
For His sake,
Anthony Kodjo Kowbeidu
Associate for Mission