I’ve mentioned this one before.The idea is get our small groups ministry (Act 2 Groups) involved in ministry through community service organizations.
A number of our groups were looking for service opportunities, but we are so “Church of Christ” in our thinking, we just couldn’t get beyond singing in the local nursing homes (we do sing very well). And so we set up a committee to search out service opportunities. They spoke with various community agencies and asked what we could do to help.
Many turned us down — they didn’t need help from the untrained or they had been burned by churches in the past or they had nothing we could do at nights or the weekends. But a few were delighted to invite us in.
We made it clear that we were Christians and would not hide our faith, but our service was out of love and no one would be required to join our church or listen to a sermon as a condition.
This is from its website —
Assisting Diverse Organizations through Partnerships and Teaming
MISSION: The mission of the ADOPT program is to facilitate substantive ministry through lasting partnerships between each Acts 2 Group and an organization or “cause.”
CONCEPT: The underlying concept behind this program is for the church to organize a slate of ADOPT partners and through a “brokering process” – to link ADOPT partners with Acts 2 Groups. This process will involve the following:
Identifying organizations willing to be ADOPT partners;
Surveying Acts 2 Groups to determine their current level of interest and maturity in ministry;
Identifying appropriate Acts 2 Groups to partner with as many ADOPT partners as possible.
Developing a relationship between the Acts 2 Group and the ADOPT partner. The intention is that Acts 2 Group leaders will maintain regular contact with the ADOPT partner liaison, and obtain partner needs and ideas for service.
Performing at least one ministry project per month by each Acts 2 Group for its ADOPT partner;
Continuous assessment of the extent to which ADOPT partner needs are being met by this process.
PURPOSE: It is important to remember that while evangelism is foundational to the mission of the church, the ADOPT program was not created to be an evangelistic effort per se. ADOPT exists to show the love of Jesus Christ to the community around us. While we hope that others will come to know Jesus as a result of this effort, this effort exists to “show” Jesus to others rather than to “tell” others about Jesus. We do not want ADOPT partners to be reluctant to work with us because they don’t agree with our theology or they perceive us to have a hidden agenda. We want our agenda to be transparent, and it is not to persuade others that they have to agree with our views of the Bible and its teachings. As Jesus put the needs of others before His own, it is paramount that ADOPT put the needs of its partners first, and that the partner organizations not be used deceptively to obtain “contact lists” for a door-to-door evangelism campaign.
BENEFITS: ADOPT offers each Acts 2 Group a purpose – a goal to unify behind for the entire year. Having a purpose will provide motivation to the group members to really participate, in that it will give the group a cause to take ownership in, and provide a sense of accomplishment when tangible progress is achieved in the ADOPT partner ministry. ADOPT also allows the Acts 2 Group leaders to focus on the problems of their ADOPT partner, with the aid of a liaison in the partner organization, which should hopefully make it easier to come up with good, meaningful projects. And finally, having each Acts 2 Group paired with a single partner provides the opportunity to develop meaningful relationships between many different UCC representatives and a variety of organizations that are in the community. As noted above, this provides a foundation for expanding the borders of the Kingdom, even though ADOPT is not an evangelism campaign.
Tuscaloosa Housing Authority
Hospice of West Alabama
DCH Home Health
Tuscaloosa’s One Place
United Cerebal Palsy
FOCUS on Senior Citizens
Community Service Programs of West Alabama
Habitat for Humanity
Meals on Wheels
Mental Health Association