What has been helpful to your church & community?

bobinfaith

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Dear brothers and sisters;

During the weekend of Friday, January 18th to Monday, the 21st, a college ministry called CRU (Campus Crusade) held the Winter Conference here in the SF Bay Area. One of our youth and I attended the Friday evening conference. Students from the Western United States, about 1200 attended and have to say the atmosphere was full of energy. Our youth is 15 and wanted to experience the gathering and though he is a sophmore, he felt right at home with everyone. The praise and worship and the message was excellent.

He had the opportunity to meet the CRU leaders that we partner with from San Diego, Berkeley and San Francisco. The next morning, CRU from San Diego State and University California San Diego came to our church. We met for prayer, I gave a brief history of our church and then the students evangelized in the neighborhood surrounding our church.

The week before the conference we mapped out the areas where the students went door to door. Because of time we could only cover 3 areas out of 1600 homes. We were blessed that the students covered the 3 areas (not all 1600 homes) and we loved their enthusiasm! Afterward we had snacks and then took them back to the hotel where they were staying.

If your church already has evangelism activities in place, I want to praise God that you are sharing the Gospel to the unreached. If you need help with reaching out to your community, please inquire with Campus Crusade. They have about 1800 campuses in the United States and 191 countries outside the United States.

We currently partner with 3 CRU campuses since 2015. Attached are the students outside of our church. The brother on the far left serves as one of our board members.

God bless you all and your families.4118
 

godbe4me

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Mar 5, 2009
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Our church along with several others rotate 2wks in the winter to feed and shelter the homeless. A number of churches in the area rotate and the homeless comes to the appointed church and they are fed and are kept warm for the night for 10 days. When it is our turn, we prepare the food, give them hot/cold drinks and we have sleeping mats for them to sleep on if they want to stay. Some of them don't want to stay in a warm place believe it or not. Before our start date, we have a meeting and each person is responsible for bringing in something extra for the homeless. One person may bring in boxes of gloves, some will ask for the church members to bring in their old coats, jackets or sweaters. I would do the hats and scarves. I make those so I would have boxes of them to give out. When the homeless arrived, we feed them, talk with them with a cup of hot coffee/cocoa while they sort through the coats to see what fits them. In the morning before they left, we would give them a hat a scarf. The doors would open back up at 5:30pm and they would all leave the following morning at 7am after breakfast. I remember one of those winters a young lady came in with a little girl no more than 4yrs old. It broke all our hearts because we only had adult coats, hats, etc. We had no children items. A child just never came across any of our paths. No one knew that everyone went out and bought that little precious girl a coat, hat, scarf and gloves. When they all arrived the following evening. That little girl had over 10 coats, hats, scarves, gloves to choose from. I will never forget that day. Once the rotation was over, the coordinator who started this whole things came back to us and stated that we were the only church who went further and gave them something to wear in the elements until the doors opened again. Sometimes we just have to do that little extra thing to touch a person's heart, a child's heart. We pray that God keep the homeless safe, God thank you for feeding them and clothing them. And all the time, God was answering our prayers by using us. God is Good!!!
 

Pastor Gary

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Our church actually donates the money for the salary of a city employee who has been hired by the city and works for the city to organize help and and provide shelter and other help in our downtown area where many homeless are living.
Sandpiper - Very nice to see you back at the Forum.

God Bless...
 

AtomicSnowflake

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Wow.... such inspiration!! These are wonderful. bobinfaith I imagine that was a great experience for everyone... the students, church, and community. Thank you for sharing the information, and the beautiful photo with us.
We live in an area near a college, and their students also have a strong christian presence and influence in the community... I have no idea if it is part of any larger organization or not, but the college is very supportive with ministry, bible study groups, youth pastors, etc. The students will often gather at the "town square" next to the old train station, usually partnering with the area churches, and hold praise & worship events, music, testimony, etc.
We were out in town a couple of years ago and sort of stumbled into one of these outdoor worship services, and it was amazing. The students had organized it after having walked through the town praying for the people, & said they felt a darkness in some places & decided to do something about it- so they did.
That was mostly the reason we are here now... when you see & feel first-hand that God is at work, and things are happening, it's such a great thing.

godbe4me As I was reading your reply, I actually got a few tears!! That is absolutely beautiful. That is a wonderful example of love. It is very encouraging and inspiring that you guys are not only partnering with other churches in unity, in order to care for and show love to those in need... but that it is being done on a personal, face-to-face manner of involvement. Sharing in the personal struggles to care for one another demonstrates love on a completely different level than most people are comfortable with.
Thank you so much for sharing this... It's wonderful.

sandpiper That's a great idea... not only are people being helped with their needs for shelter/safety, it provides a job for someone!! Cool :)

--------------------
I just want to thank each of you for the replies!! They are great ideas and examples... I can't wait to read more! Sharing these stories just may help get more churches & people inspired. So, thank you, and may God bless your efforts!
 
Apr 28, 2017
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Something else my church has done which is worth mentioning is that every week the congregation at all three services is asked to put a dollar in the offering boxes in the back of the church. A collection is never taken up as such..but encouragement is sometimes given to go on line to give or mail in or even put a check in the box. But the dollar offering is besides the regular weekly offering. It is used as a contribution to various organizations within the city. The church also promises that for every person who attends (I guess they count the number attending) they will be sure a $1.00 is put in the box. Usually the dollars in the box succeed in meeting that without the church dipping into their own funds and even extra is often given. The average collected is usually between $1000 and $l400. Generous people with a heart to reach out to the city community by their giving.
 
Dec 19, 2014
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My church has a community meal every friday which has been a great success, the supermarkets and greengrocers donate food and a team of volunteers cook it up and share, and lot of hungry people come, its free. We all eat together and a prayer is said and sometimes a talk about Jesus. Its held in the church hall.

There never used to be huge numbers of homeless people in my country but now there are thanks to greed and the neoliberal economy. Its really sad. My friend got inspired to started it and God just arranged it all cos he wants to feed his sheep.
 
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AtomicSnowflake

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Lanolin That's really great that you guys are able to do this, and that the businesses are also involved and helping to support the effort. It is very sad that there is even a need... but working together to help each other is what we are all supposed to do.
It sounds like a really blessed Friday! (...and I would imagine, a pretty busy one also!)
 
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Apr 13, 2019
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I only have one experience worth sharing. Some young people were knocking on doors in the neighborhood. I don't usually tolerate religious door knockers, but I had not heard of their denomination and they were polite and I was lonely so I took them up on their invitation. I arrived at the exact time they specified and the place was empty. I could hear through closed doors that the congregation was having a good time in the chapel, but I thought it odd that nobody was there to greet visitors when I was invited specifically for that purpose. A half hour later the doors opened and members wandered into the hall, all ignoring me, until the teens who had invited me noticed that I was there. They had nothing to offer, they only wanted to hear about my history, since I had been in a small church of which they had heard.

Conclusions I draw from this: If you want to invite people to your church, be sure somebody will be present when they show up, and be sure everybody they might meet actually has a witness. The one thing I observe in ALL witnessing is that Christians as a rule don't know the first thing about what they claim to believe.
 
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rtm3039

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What has your church done that has been beneficial/successful for the community and your church?? Food pantry, clothing drives, free dinners, prayer blankets, etc.??? Anything that has worked really well?
Good day. This is a nice question, as it allows people to kind of “brag” about their church.

I belong to a non-denominational church; Christ Fellowship, in South Florida. My church is rather large, with over 10,000 members and campuses located in seven areas of South Florida. They also have an on-line ministry that focuses on spreading the word of God to those that cannot attend a physical location or are not located in South Florida. We also have ministries in Cuba, Colombia, Jamaica, and El Salvador. The vision is to eventually have ministries throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, as a large percentage of church members, to include myself, come from these regions.

We help our community, in the following ways:

  • Serve the under-resourced weekly, via our Care Cottage (Food Pantry and Care Closet);
  • Serve the homeless in Homestead and Downtown Miami, via a cooperative with the Chapman Partnership;
  • A Backpack program that provides food to thousands of hungry children, usually delivering these backpacks t their schools;
  • We provide support and assistance to single moms, domestic violence victims, and assisted living homes;
  • We support our migrant population with language training and legal support;
  • We support our orphan population with monthly child care, birthday parties, and providing roll models and by working closely with the Department of Children and Families, Big Brothers & Big Sisters, Macklemore Center, His House, Florida Baptist Children’s Homes, Safe Space Shelters.
There is obviously more, but the above are the main programs. I am still among those that still need to work; however, there will come a time when I too can retire and I home to spend as much time as possible volunteering and serving God through my church.

rtm3039