Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Developing partnerships for impact

Yesterday I brought 22 backpacks with school supplies to the CEAP office in Blaine. The people in our new congregation and almost every child who came to Vacation Bible School generously donated these backpacks with school supplies. CEAP (Community Emergency Assistance Program) is a community-based, non-profit agency that partners with other resources to assist people in need. Their office is located in the Anoka County Social Services Building.

This was a marvelous response by the people in our new church. As I shared at our Vacation Bible School final gathering, “who says that new churches can’t do mission?” We have 16 families who are part of our Core Group. That means we averaged over a backpack per family. I’m hopeful that this generous response at helping others will be continued a hundred fold in the years to come. I want us to be known as a group of disciples who make an impact on the world.

CEAP’s family services manager, Tom Linman shared with me that CEAP will distribute close to two thousand backpacks with school supplies to children in Anoka County. The need is obviously high.

In the picture on top of this blog Tom is standing in back of a shopping cart that has the backpacks which our faith community donated.

I believe that churches must continue to look for ways to partner with community organizations to address issues in the community. This backpack ministry is just one example. CEAP gave us a list of supplies that was needed; they distributed the backpacks to children who need them. Our task as a faith community was to come up with the backpacks with school supplies.

Sure our faith community could have done this ministry by ourselves. We could have found a list of children who need backpacks, we could have come up with a list of items in the backpacks, we could have arranged for the distribution of the backpacks once we had them. But if another organization will do that—why do we need to do all that.

The point is to make an impact.

Through partnerships the church has a greater possibility at developing the Kingdom.

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