Welcome to Home Repair Ministries, Inc.


Archive for July, 2012

Igniting Your Ministry Impact

A great way to multiply your impact, whether you are an Outreach Ministry, Mercy Ministry, or other Non-Profit organization, is to build service networks with other community service non-profits. Find logical synergies with other organizations or find needs that they have to help more people in the area. You can take several approaches, such as directly partnering with the other agency or using your organization's skills or services to supplement their offerings. The Foundation Center's National Collaboration Database - collaboration.foundationcenter.org/ - is a good resource for additional ideas for partnering opportunities. Some of these include sharing space, combining marketing efforts and sharing staff.

Here are potential scenarios to illustrate some of the opportunities you might want to pursue. Say, for example, you have a home repairs ministry like ours. If you poke around enough, you can probably find a co-op or food pantry that needs help with repairs. Or maybe you can make a strategic investment and help them convert some unused space into a thrift store. That helps the co-op raise more money and provides low-income homeowners, some of whom may also be your clients, necessary and affordable goods. Another options is to help a non-profit with storage space. Giving an organization a way to store more supplies (such as cans of food for a food pantry or clothing storage for a homeless services organization) is a terrific way to help them serve more people.

What if you have a car repair ministry or non-profit organization? How about providing oil changes for those driving to the food bank to pick up food for the week? Now your partnership is adding to the service value chain for your constituency. You'd be surprised at how valuable even a small non-profit can be when they are strategic about extending their reach. Are you starting to see the potential here?

In addition to the satisfaction of helping more people and living out your organization's vision, there are some practical benefits to partnering with community non-profits as well. While you're growing your service footprint in the community, you are also building trust with a valuable network of community partners. If a client comes into their establishment or they get a referral with a need that your ministry can provide, guess who they are going to call? And that works both ways. If someone you are helping needs additional help that one of your partners can provide, you just built a deeper relationship with and provided more help for your client.

Before you undertake any projects, make sure to check with your Board of Directors to make sure that they are in alignment with your vision for extending your non-profit. Despite the best of intentions, it may turn out that it doesn't make sense for you to take up some or all of the partnerships that are described here. But if there is a strategic fit, your only limit on multiplying your impact is your imagination and the time you have to apply to the endeavor.

Want to take part in one of these partnerships? If you live in Atlanta, join HRM on a project! To sign up or for more information

Confessions of a Former Christian Snob

I grew up with a mindset that our own denomination had abandoned the Word of God and the Christ-centered faith it represented. However, about the time I married my wife, a new group started and we became part of it. Over the years, I was infected with the illness of disdain for other Christians not part of our group. In fact, at one point, one of my Christian objectives was to try to show everyone else the error of their ways.

About fifteen years ago, I realized that when I stood before the throne of mercy, I would need mercy myself because of the misunderstandings I held regarding Kingdom living, loving God and others, Christ's mandate to serve others in need in light of His unspeakable sacrifice for me, etc. So if I need a vast outpouring of grace over those things, how in the world could I look askance at those who trust Christ alone for their salvation and faithfully follow Him, but do it with various approaches different from my own?

That realization came about as I was beginning to make connections to pastors in the inner-city neighborhood where I was ministering. The conviction has only grown stronger since that time and it has been my joy to work with churches Unite!in the Unite! network in Atlanta. These have a commitment to make sure they have a "beyond the walls of the church" focus by forging a partnership of Christ-centered churches serving together. These churches have implemented initiatives that were strengthened as we addressed them side-by-side. The results have been amazing.

The prayerIt’s in this spirit that we started our own outreach ministry - Home Repairs Ministries (HRM). While it’s true that HRM has given me a lot of joy (because I like to work with people with hand and tool skills who want to serve Christ and homeowners in need), I have another motive. I want to see the Body of Christ operating in an Ephesians 4 model of unity. Maybe it would be helpful to go back and read the first part of that chapter to see what I mean. Because of this desire, I get a lot of satisfaction when we put together a group of church teams several times a year when we need a large crowd to do a lot of work in a short time-period.

Churches serving togetherHere's an example - in January, we re-roofed a widow's home in one day, which required many hands doing different tasks at the same time. On the site were six churches - two Baptist, two non-denominational, one Lutheran, and one Presbyterian. It was a mix of languages, races, and certainly theological perspectives. We didn't get hung up on points of disagreement and the elderly woman we served got a big hug from the Body of Jesus. We had a good devotion talking about why we serve and how we were responding to the mercy mandate of the Gospel and then we prayed for the homeowner and her sister (who claims the name of Christ). In projects, it is vital to balance the theological and practical, Word and deed, forbearance and truth in the main/plain things of the faith. But as Paul reminds us, “…the greatest of these is love.”


Loving Our Neighbors Better Through Home Repair

Have you ever dissected the conversation between the teacher of the law and Jesus in Luke 10:25-37 (the Good Samaritan passage)? The guy started by asking how to have eternal life. So Jesus asked him what the Law said and he quoted the Scripture about loving God most of all and your neighbor as yourself. Jesus responded, "Do this and you will live." This did not satisfy the man, so he asked a qualifying question: "And who is my neighbor?" It seems pretty clear that the man thought he could justify himself, but just to make sure he understood how far he must go, or to establish the minimum number of people he had to love, he challenged Jesus this way. Have you ever thought like this? I plead guilty and still fight it today.

Jesus then goes into the story of the good Samaritan. I won't get into all of that as you've probably heard plenty of sermons and Sunday school lessons on it and I hope you will read it again, today. The shocking thing was how Jesus turned the tables on the guy. Instead of establishing how to exactly define a neighbor to limit responsibility, Jesus asked, "Which of these three, do you think, proved to be the neighbor to the man who fell among robbers?". To this the man answered, "The one who showed him mercy." Jesus closed the exchange by exhorting him, "You go and do likewise." Easy - all the guy had to do was love the people who needed his help, within his capacity to serve.

Helping Hand

from freeimages.com, Michael Illuchine

This exchange screams two things to me. First, I have not loved many who needed me that I could have helped. When I did help, most often, I did not serve them the way I would have served myself. Second, I have not met the requirements of the Law that Jesus laid out. Unless God provides me mercy in the sin department, I will not be with him for eternity. He has provided the only way through the One that could meet the full requirements of the Law, Jesus - Son of God, Son of Man, Messiah, Immanuel (God with us). He has purchased my salvation and paid my sin debt in full. I claim the payment by repenting for my lack of love for God and man, trust in His completed work at the cross, and have committed to live under the control of the Holy Spirit so that Christ might be seen in me. I have done it very poorly. He has done His part perfectly and it didn't matter how badly I'd failed before I trusted Him, and when I come up short today, it is just as much covered by Jesus' sacrifice than at first. But there has been a wonderful and terrible change in my heart - I want to live in a way that shouts, "THANK YOU!" to my Savior. He's told us in this passage that loving God (which includes my best but still lousy efforts at obedience) and loving my neighbor as myself, say it appropriately. When all is said and done, the only righteousness I will ever have is Jesus. As Steve Brown says, "Cheer up, you're worse than you think you are." And that's true. But despite all of this He still loves me. Wow!

Providing home repairs is a wonderful outreach ministry opportunity and a way to say, "Thank you" to God. It's also a way to love my neighbor better (even if not yet quite to the level as I love myself). Would you like to join me? Are you wired to start or lead a home repair ministry in your local church? Are you a handy man or woman looking for a way to serve and love God and others? We can help you get started! No-cost church ministry resources

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