New Missions Board — Sharing Christ’s Love with the World

June 15th, 2007 • Category: Helping Those in Need, Church News

Do you feel called to share Jesus’ love with the world in a more tangible way? Our Church has begun to develop a strategy that will enable us to do just that.

Last fall, many of us participated in a Prayer Vigil for Darfur. Our hearts were moved, but we also sensed that we needed to get much better organized to respond on a practical level. Prayer is not enough; action is required.

As a result, the Board of Directors has appointed a Missions Board and given them a mandate to organize and lead our congregation’s efforts to reach out across the globe more effectively. For several months, they have been working hard to develop a policy that will guide our efforts. That policy is undergoing review with the Board of Directors and will soon be available for congregational comment.

Our Vision Statement here at Jesus MCC identifies three great priorities that guide our work together: (1) making disciples, (2) doing justice, and (3) helping those in great need. The Missions Board will help us do a much better job with that third priority, especially outside of the Indianapolis area. We already have powerful Ministry Teams that are doing much to address suffering right here in Indy, including our Homeless Ministry and our Animal Ministry. The challenge now is to reach beyond central Indiana.

From the problems in Africa with hunger, genocide, parentless and unwanted children in the streets, shelters, and orphanages all over the world, to struggling GLBT Christian communities, there are many ways to share God’s love with those experiencing physical, spiritual, and emotional distress around the world.

The Missions Board is still in a strategic planning phase, working to identify the best opportunities for us to reach out across the globe. Several options are being explored.

  • First, two Missions Board members are preparing to go on a fact finding and exploratory visit to Native American communities in the western United States. Based on their findings, we may be able to offer missions trips to one or more Native American communities to help build/repair homes and address other necessities.
  • Second, at General Conference in July, Pastor Jeff will talk to several pastors establishing MCCs in Latin America and beyond. He will explore options for helping these congregations thrive despite great financial stress and profound societal pressure.
  • Third, we are exploring a partnership with a Christian organization called New Community Project (NCP). NCP’s goal is to help U.S. churches establish long-term working relationships with communities of people in areas of great need, including the Sudan (which encompasses Darfur). We are exploring the possibility of having members of our congregation participate in a learning tour sponsored by NCP to Sudan, so we can start building community with people there. The goal is not to do “hit-and-run” projects, but to build long-term, life-changing relationships.
  • Fourth, our congregation has long sponsored 35 children through the Christian Children’s Fund. Sponsorships for many of these children have expired and funds for these children are currently coming out of our Church’s general budget. We will soon launch intentional efforts to identify new sponsors within our congregation, then to expand beyond these 35 children to include more.

Once information is gathered for these efforts, the Missions Board will present recommendations and we’ll launch our new strategy with a World Missions Day here at Jesus MCC in the fall. In the meantime, if you might be interested in sponsoring one of our children through the Christian Children’s Fund or participating in a mission trip, please email us and we’ll make sure you receive information directly when details become available.

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