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About the Ministry

Information about Home Repairs Ministries and the resources we provide for service, outreach and evangelism.

Is a Home Repair Team Right for Your Church?

A church's home repair team exists to serve it's own homeowners in need and as an outreach to your community. 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 idea, the next question becomes "is it right for us and can we do it?" Finding the answers 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. 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.

Disaster Response4) 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 the same types of 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 other churches have been through this before. In fact, we've been doing this for many years and learned a lot of good ideas and some not so good ones to avoid.

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 desire to build a community that can share and learn with each other.

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Why We Serve Together With Many Churches

The short version of our ministry's Mission Statement is "Repairing Homes and Hearts as Churches Serve Together". The second part of that statement is very important to us because we believe serving together (assuming common essential core beliefs) is a strategic way to advance the Kingdom. Why?

  • Team shot in front of churchChurch teams begin to see each other serving in the community and realize they are not alone in their concerns. Relationships are established between teams.
  • Church teams become “iron sharpening iron” (Proverbs 27:17), recognizing that each church has individual gifts that contribute to the whole Body.
  • The community has the opportunity to observe what the followers of Jesus are doing to bless them, leading them to realize that the Church is an indispensible part of the community.
  • Movements similar to Unite! are strengthened at a grass roots ministry level. Pastors and leaders pray and plan together to address other common concerns.
  • Pastors are encouraged to connect with other pastors as they realize their Home Repair Teams are serving together.
  • Combined church efforts reflect Christ more visibly than smaller, single church efforts.
  • Working together reflects the unity we read about in Ephesians 4.


What about you? Do you have experience working across multiple churches and/or denominations? What has been your experience? If you've had some good successes, let us know and we'll share your story, if appropriate.


What Tools Should Your Home Repair Ministry Keep On Hand?

from freeimages.com / J Boontje

from freeimages.com / J. Boontje

Depending on the size and complexity of the ministry, groups may wish to maintain a set of tools or rely upon volunteers to bring their own. For a list of recommended tools, see the "Suggested Tool List"¨ below. If volunteers are expected to bring their own tools, they should be made aware of this need at the time of their recruitment. Any promise by the ministry to replace personal tools that are broken or stolen during a home repair project should also be made known.

We suggest each team member bring with him/her the following:

  • Hammer
  • Pair of work gloves
  • Pencil
  • Eye protection, dust mask
  • Nail apron

Additional useful tools to have access to:

  • Tape measure
  • Screwdrivers (Phillips and straight, manual and/or electric)
  • Chisels
  • Utility knife
  • Adjustable pliers, needle-nose pliers
  • Wire cutter
  • Flashlight
  • Painting tools - 4" brush, roller & paint pan, masking tape, scraper, drop cloths, spackle, sandpaper
  • Speed square and team framing square
  • Chalk line
  • A selection of nails and screws
  • Putty knives
  • Adjustable wrenches
  • Circular saw
  • Variable speed/reversible drill, drill bits, screwdriver bits
  • WD-40 or equivalent
  • Sawhorse set and plywood tabletop
  • Ladders (both A-frame and extension)
  • Hand saw, wrecking bar, pry bar, level
  • Extension cords and two prong adopter
  • Clean-up supplies (trash bage, paper towels, hand cleanser, etc.)
  • Ice chest full of water, sport drinks, soda

Plus any other tools specific to the project undertaken.


Categories: About the Ministry, Tool Tips Tags:

The Purpose of A Home Repair Ministry Team

Churches Serving TogetherThe purpose of the local church home repairs team is to serve hurting people and to demonstrate the love of Jesus Christ to them by first addressing a physical need: that of home maintenance and repairs. Home Repair teams can also serve other support agencies, organizations, and non-profit ministries who serve the needy in their community.

Any homeowner knows that there never seems to be enough time for all of the home repairs and maintenance a house requires. For most of us, this is an overwhelming but attainable job. For many widows, single moms, elderly people, disabled people, and non-profit ministries, this is an impossible job due to lack of funds, skills, and/or knowledge. The local church home repairs team exists to meet this need.

The goal of the team is to address a physical need while showing those they serve Jesus, the Master Carpenter, whose “home repairs” never break or wear out, and to connect them when possible to other ministries within a local church and the Christian community as a whole.

Interested, but don't know where to start? We have resources to help you get started.


Categories: About the Ministry, Evangelism, Service Tags:

How Do I Set Up A Home Repair Team, Part I

Is your church considering or open to home repair as an outreach or mercy ministry? Or are you in the process of organizing? One of the most important steps in setting up your home repair team is determining how you will be organized. Over the next couple days, we will be sharing with you some descriptions of positions within a home repair team. This model represents a fairly sophisticated team, and is just one way of staffing, but our hope is that it's helpful in starting your service ministry or optimizing the team that you have in place already.

If you want this information in a complete document, download the PDF file. More information like this is available by signing up on the web site (no charge).

Part I - Leadership Team Member

Your Home Repairs leadership team should meet at least monthly to:

  • Discuss new projects
  • Review status of open projects
  • Set goals & direction for the ministry
  • Assign project responsibilities

In addition, for each project handled by your ministry, a leadership team member is specifically assigned to the project. When the project is assigned, the leadership team member is responsible for:

  • Managing the project if there is no Project Leader (PL) - the Project Leader position will be discussed in more detail in a future blog
  • Obtaining a list of volunteers and insuring they are contacted
  • Coordinating with the Project Leader and the Project Coordinator (PC) to establish a date for the project (see PC role information in Part 3)
  • Insuring that the status of the project is maintained in the Home Repairs Database (reporting project & volunteer information)
  • Assisting in scoping the project & making sure that your ministry coordinates with the homeowner

Read the rest of the series:

Part 2       Part 3


3 Things You Need to Start a Home Repair Ministry (and 8 More to Grow)

A home repair team, in the most rudimentary form, needs very few things:

    1) A couple of people who want to use their knowledge and skills in construction-related ministry
    2) A project or several projects requiring volunteers
    3) A method of funding materials

Anything larger than "a couple of guys" requires some level of organization or things can get chaotic quickly. At that point, you will need to:

    Building a Ramp1) Identify a team leader
    2) Determine a method of distributing information to the volunteer team (meeting, email, website, etc.)
    3) Develop a plan to distribute information to supporters and let potential "clients" know about the ministry
    4) Create a database or tracking mechanism for projects and volunteers
    5) Build a volunteer pool over time and a plan to manage and develop your volunteers
    6) Establish guidelines for carrying out the ministry need, including safety, types of projects the team can/cannot handle, scope, financial need of clients, etc.
    7) Foster communication between the team and church leadership so that all are kept abreast of the ministry development and progress
    8) Develop an accountability system to ensure that the spiritual aspect of serving on a home repairs team is being included, and so that there is proper follow up and quality control for completing projects.

Want more information on starting, finding projects, how to pay for projects and more? We can help! Register on our site today at no charge!

Create Your Own Short-Term Mission Trip, Part Two

So how do you start looking for your short-term mission trip opportunity? Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Contact your local or county senior services agency volunteers coordinator to see what they know needs volunteers.
  • Contact Dept. of Family and Children’s Services (or whatever it is called near you) to see whether they know of a low-income family fostering children and in need of home repair help. This is especially needed where there are teens being fostered.
  • Contact agencies that help people with disabilities to see if they can direct you to a need.
  • Are there single mothers in your church network (members and their extended families and neighbors) whose homes need attention but cannot pay for maintenance?
  • Has there been a localized disaster, e.g. a flood or tornado that swept through a neighborhood (though it may not officially be a declared emergency, see how those in the path feel about it)? Contact your county or state Emergency Management Agency to see whom to contact about helping.
  • Inner-city/low-income neighborhood church leaders often know of someone in their congregation who needs help. Use the opportunity to serve alongside other Christ-followers.
  • Make sure that you have a waiver to cover accidents and your team. Also, make sure that your team members are insured!

So How Do I Start a Home Repairs Team?

Now that you’ve got a project, how do you start a team and what do you need? We’ve created a website – www.homerepairs.org – where we have collected the resources that can help you start up your own home repairs ministry at your church. You’ll find articles and forms that will take you through all phases of starting and running a ministry, a blog with posts from the front-lines of the ministry, a forum to ask and answer your tough questions (coming soon) and a list of churches by area to help you partner with other like-minded Christians. Sign up today and get your short term mission or youth trip ready for the summer!

Read Part One of Creating Your Own Short-Term Mission Trip

Create Your Own Short-Term Mission Trip, Part One

Are you considering or looking for a short-term mission opportunity for your church or family, but concerned about travel costs and coordination? Well, we’d like to suggest an opportunity that is in your own backyard and that’s cheaper and closer than a short-term mission trip out-of-state. Put together some tool guys (or ladies) with some available time (youth and retired people are ideal) and reach out to a widow, single mother, or an elderly or disabled homeowner in your own community - for Christ!

Bailey Roof Group 1Maybe you feel like you're not ready to start a ministry or even get a group together for a project or two. It may be easier than you think! You and a friend with some tools may be able to help an elderly person with some minor repairs or help a widow straighten her yard. Unlike a "traditional" short-term mission trip, a local project or two doesn't have to take months to plan or cost thousands of dollars. You may even get your church or a couple friends and family to cover your material expenses if the person you are helping can't afford the materials.

You Are Needed

Disaster RecoveryWhy is this a great mission opportunity? For one, the needs are all around you. There are a growing number of low-income homeowners: widows, single mothers, the elderly and disabled, who have homes, but not the means to provide for basic or emergency repairs. This can put them at risk of injury, can make them shut-ins (because they cannot get around or out of their home, due to a disease or disability) and even, in extreme cases, lead to liens, foreclosure or condemnation of the home. The people you serve might end up being in your community (which provides an excellent opportunity to present the gospel to them in deed and Word) or even in your own church. You might also consider serving a community nonprofit or service agency (some of these can serve hundreds of families a month), as they provide critical services to these same people groups, and can have repair needs with their facilities. If you have a skilled group, you might even be able to help them with a modification to their building, which can help them reach hundreds more people in need.

Do you know how much people with tools and a heart for serving Christ are needed? According to a survey by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, 64% of Americans don't have enough cash on hand to handle a $1,000 emergency expense*. As a matter of fact, a recent HomeServe survey shows that one in five surveyed homeowners faced a repair they could not afford.* And for vulnerable people groups, doing the repairs themselves is just not an option.

Friday we will post Part Two, which will show you some ideas on how to find a short-term home repairs mission opportunity and how you can start your own team.

Read Part 2

* - Source - October 3 Fox Business News article


Want to Start a Ministry with Impact?

Five marks (in our opinion) of an impactful ministry and why a home repairs ministry is one. Please make sure that your speakers are not muted.

Click the logo image above to watch a short video.

Categories: About the Ministry, Ministry Impact Tags:

Be Ready When Disaster Strikes

In June, 2012, we travelled to the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) General Assembly, in Louisville, Kentucky, to promote the ministry and network with church leaders. On the trip, we co-sponsored a mercy ministry project called “Sheds of Hope”, for Henryville, Indiana, 35 miles north of Louisville, to help those whose lives were turned upside-down by a tornado. When your house is terribly damaged or gone, you need a place to put your “stuff”. Sheds of Hope are inexpensive units that can be built on-site or constructed off-site and transported to a disaster area where most needed. And most importantly, they come with the hope-filled message of the Gospel.

MNA logoWe partnered with the PCA’s Mission to North America ministry. The often overwhelming needs of those caught in disaster/emergency situations provides the need for a partnership between MNA’s Disaster Response ministry and churches with home repairs/disaster response teams ready to deploy. Our ministry provides materials to help churches start those teams and help them begin serving the community. At the General Assembly, we shared with PCA leaders the benefits of starting their own church ministry teams, and gave them information to take back to interested people in their congregations. Starting such a team provides several things for a church:

  • A way for the church to serve its own widows and others who own homes and are not able to afford a contractor to make repairs or make the repairs themselves
  • A mechanism to respond to situations where people in the community are begging Christians to come to their homes to help (an opportunity for the church to offer temporal, as well as eternal, help as they “love their neighbor as themselves” in deed and Word)
  • An opportunity to engage handy men and women from their congregation who can find themselves somewhat marginalized, relative to church-based ministry, because they don’t sing in the choir, keep the nursery, or teach Sunday school
  • The opportunity for Christ-centered churches to serve together and represent Christ as one body to their communities
  • Connection and unity at a grassroots level for a denominations’ churches within a city or community as church teams join together for larger projects
  • The mechanism for churches to respond to disasters and be the love of Christ to the devastated, as they respond to calls for help from organizations such as MNA and others.

The Home Repairs Ministries website provides you the information you need to start or grow a team at your church.

So, who do you call on if you want to start a team? In conversations we have had with church leaders, the question we ask is, “Who is the person you would call when one of your widows needs something repaired?” That is potentially the person who needs to be challenged with engaging others, and if not him, he probably knows who might have such an interest. Two guys, a bag of tools, and an SUV can constitute a home repairs team. That’s a disaster response team that can grow as the Lord provides vision and skills.