In Tuesday’s post, we discussed identifying the needs of your community. Recognizing opportunities to show mercy to people living in your city is a beginning point to developing a culture of compassion within your congregation and extending the gospel to the weak and weary, harassed and helpless. Now, we want Christians to take action. Meeting needs, such as the ones below, is the first step in mobilizing your members to a lifestyle of compassion and care for broken people. There are several ministry options immediately available through Send Relief for church planters to involve their people in mercy ministry. Here are a few examples of ways your church plant can work with Send Relief to meet needs in your community while sharing Christ.
1. Home Fire Campaign
On average, 7 people die each day in the US because of home fires, often because families do not have working smoke detectors. Send Relief has partnered with the American Red Cross to offer preventative measures that address basic causes of this problem. Churches can mobilize their members to install smoke detectors, provided by Send Relief and the American Red Cross, in homes throughout their communities, offering mercy to this human need.
2. Hunger Relief
In the US, one in six people suffers from hunger. Church planters can access resources to address hunger in their communities through Send Relief. Southern Baptists provide funds through Global Hunger Relief —100% of donations go to hunger alleviation—enable churches to extend the gospel by giving hope to those encountering physical and spiritual need. For example, your church can work with Send Relief to feed hungry children who do not have a guaranteed access to food on the weekends and summer breaks. Partner with Send Relief to access the resources available to your church through the Backpacks of Hopeministry of the North American Mission Board.
3. Medical and Dental Clinics
A great way to connect your members’ vocational abilities with offering mercy to your neighborhood is found in your medical community. Pastors can be an advocate for the poor and help them access existing free services. By coordinating with local medical systems and private doctors and dentists in the city, church planters will discover medical professionals willing to provide free services. In partnership with Send Relief, church planters should consider hosting a free medical and dental clinic.
4. Ministering to Internationals
Offer tutoring and other life-skill classes. Churches can also organize an English as a Second Language ministry at the church, community center, apartment building or a school. Send Relief provides training for churches wanting to become involved with global ministry opportunities within one’s own city.
If these areas of immediate opportunity interest you, contact Send Relief or discover other possible ministry options at namb.net/send-relief to begin your next missional effort. Offering mercy and compassion to your community begins with awareness of the needs around your church and awareness of resources available to help your church take action.
Published June 16, 2016