Several weeks ago, Marrty Dormish (Staff STINT–Barcelona) suggested a different way of thinking. He encouraged missional team leaders (staff, faculty, volunteers) to experiment with brainstorming about ways the university (community college, etc. ) could to be a blessing, to extend the rule and reign of God on their campus and in their surrounding communities.
Marrty suggests that we start believing that “resources exist on every college campus to help transform, restore and heal the cities and towns in which these institutions of higher learning exist.”
I was reading Scot McKnight’s excellent book, “The Jesus Creed: Loving God, Loving Others” in which he mentioned the Anglican churches in Singapore who have developed an integrated ministry of reaching into their surrounding community. Trying to avoid the so-frequent “division of labor” into evangelism or social action, these churches are dirtying their hands in help. Their outreach ministry is called SHOW: Softening Hearts and Opening Windows where everyone learns that a broad and integrated ministry is the heart of following Jesus.
I think their four step strategy (to which I’ve added one) might serve as a model for some experimental thinking on the part of our missional teams. What if missional teams approach a campus (either staffed or non-staffed) and initiated the following?
- Pray for the community corporately and privately
- Profile the surrounding community to discover real needs
- Prepare leaders/volunteers to share the story verbally
- Pursue projects of both kindness and penetration
- Partner with others –Christians or non-Christian–to maximize impact for the kingdom