A church's home repair team exists to serve it's own homeowners in need and as an outreach to your community's homeowners in need. In both cases, we have found those most needing our services to typically be widows, single mothers, the elderly and disabled. If outreach is a priority for your church, a home repair ministry is an opportunity to share the gospel in Word and deed with these people.
If this sounds like a good opportunity for your church, the next question becomes "is it right for us and can we do it?" Finding the answers for your church will be helped by sharing what a home repair team is and what it is not.
1) A home repair team is typically not led by staff or leadership (at least, that's been our experience). A home repair team can be viewed as an opportunity to extend your congregation's involvement and outreach. In fact, the guys who run a home repair team can be the people in your church who aren't sure how and where to plug in and serve.
Find your handymen (and women) and the folks your leadership calls when you have a single mom with a repair need and you've found your candidate to lead you local church's home repair team. We think that these guys exist in many churches.
2) A home repair team is scalable in scope. The size of your church should not be an impediment to starting a team. A simple home repair team can be two guys who help people out occasionally on weekends. Or, in a larger church, or one with a lot of handymen, you can have several projects going on a month.
3) A home repair team does not have to raise a lot of money to fund projects. Your church can certainly choose to fund projects, but we try to either have the materials paid for by the homeowner (where feasible) or donated from local businesses or other non-profits.
4) A home repair ministry is a natural partner to a disaster response/recovery team. If your church participates in disaster recovery projects, a home repair ministry can help your team impact their community all throughout the year. More than likely you've already got similar skills on your team and are doing similar types of work. Instead of sending volunteers out a couple times a year, you can keep them busy every month, even weekly, if you have the people for it!
5) Starting a home repair ministry does require some forethought. Fortunately, our ministry and several churches have been through this before. In fact, we've been doing this for many years and learned a lot of good ideas and not so good ones.
We've collected that information and made it available to churches at no charge on our website (you can make a suggested donation but it is not required). As we get more churches joining through our website, we will build a community that can share and learn with each other.
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