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Starting a Ministry

Article about how to start a service or outreach ministry.

Driving Outreach May Be Easier Than You Think

2014 Church ConferenceWe've been blessed to be able to attend a couple church conferences, and they have been exciting opportunities to talk with leaders, from churches, who see the possibilities of a home repair team in their church. They see a team as a great way to meet some critical needs of the most vulnerable members of their congregations (particularly widows, the elderly, single mothers and people with mobility challenges), and as a tangible way to express God’s, and their, love to their congregants by serving them (John 13:35).

We try to communicate with church leaders that there is also a great outreach opportunity for churches. Home Repair can be a kind of “low-hanging” fruit as outreach goes, since once you make some community connections and know where to find needs, you’ll have people inviting your people into their homes to help. Pretty cool!

The discussions also reinforced that home repair ministry is more bottom-up than top-down. It was encouraging to see that the church leaders, by and large, seemed to get that. You just need to find the right "driver", and most often, this person is not staff. It's a matter of finding your church’s handy (and motivated) people, recruiting them to lead your ministry, and if an extra "push" is needed, providing some resources to help them get started. HRM would like to help make your job a little easier! We have a library of content available to help arm home repair ministry leaders (actual or prospective) with information to start and grow their own team!

Take a Sneak Peek     Register for the Site

And now a couple questions that we’d love your feedback on. Just click on "Leave a comment" below this post and let us know your experiences.

1) If your church has a home repair team, how did you find and engage your leader? Would it have helped the process to have some documentation for how to run a home repair ministry beforehand?

2) If you don’t have a team, have you tried? What was the response from the person(s) you approached?


Engaging the Unengaged - Starting a Team in Your Church

We've talked quite a bit in the blog about the need for home repairs for widows, single mothers, the elderly and disabled, but aside from the primary blessings of serving Jesus and our brothers, sisters and neighbors, there is also a practical reasons for your church to consider a home repair team.

Handymen UnleashedIn almost every church there is a group of handy people that are called upon for their skills. Some help maintain the church building, some go on construction-related mission trips, and some help with the occasional odd job presented by a needy congregation member. Most of the time these previously mentioned groups serve when called upon, but they are not actively looking for projects. Did some faces and names come to mind?

Men (and women) on the periphery of the ministry are found in many churches but cannot figure out how to serve in the church if they don’t sing, teach, direct traffic, or participate in childcare. But, they can use their hands! When these people are engaged, there is an army of handymen ready to jump in and “get it done”.

So, what might move a church like yours toward starting a home repair ministry team?

  • An existing handyman group needs organizing or refining for effectiveness
  • There are interested men in the church
  • There is someone in the church with a need
  • The pastor or staff have the idea of starting a team for outreach purposes
  • To build a Men’s Ministry
  • There are needs in the community close to the church

So, one of the best ways to form a home repairs team is to identify these handy people and get them behind, and committed to, an effort to launch your home repairs ministry. Or, put another way, encourage them to do what they were already doing, only in a more organized and effective manner.

We can help you get started with a library of resources to help you start and run a team.


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!

The Ministry Opportunity You May Be Sitting On

Churches are trying to get the most outreach impact they can from available resources, but there’s a tricky issue – available resource. On top of that, we know we have limited hours in a day and can feel it - palpably. Churches have to be smart and strategic in the Kingdom work they do to be good and faithful stewards of what God has given them.

Home Repairs GuySo here’s the punchline. For this opportunity, you may not need to think about starting a new ministry. Your church may already be sitting on top of one that already exists (or at least has the potential to exist) in your church! Think about this. Who’s the guy you call or would call if you had a widow in your church with a leaky faucet? Who is always helping out when something breaks or needs to get built. Does a face or two spring to mind? Odds are pretty good that this person may not be formally plugged in with a ministry and has trouble figuring out where and how to serve. Why wouldn’t you want that guy reaching out to more people in your congregation or your community? Maybe it’s time to turn ‘em loose!

Widow on new deckAnd you do that by starting a home repair ministry. A home repair ministry is an opportunity for your church to love on and serve your widows, single moms, elderly and disabled members, and to serve these same groups out in your community. In fact, once your team learns how to get referrals you may find what our Executive Director describes as a very odd phenomonon. People in your comumnity inviting your Christ-followers into their homes. How's that for an outreach opportunity? Cool, huh?

You’re probably thinking that this sounds good, but let’s get real, staff and ministry leaders don’t have time to throw at another ad hoc thing. The beauty of a home repairs ministry is that it’s designed to be lay-led. Past receiving the occasional update, staff doesn’t have to get further involved unless they want to.

If you’re looking for some guidance on how to get started, we have a library of content including ministry vision, how to get started, how and where to get referrals, project management, volunteer management and more. We like to think of it as a home repair ministry “in a box”. Get a Sneak Peek of what's available!

We also provide access to a network of churches with home repair ministries (right now mainly in Atlanta, but starting to spread nationally). Will you join us? We do not charge for the site (but you can make a donation if you are able). Check out what you get from Home Repairs Ministries

You can also click “Contact Us” near the bottom of this webpage to directly contact us with questions you might have.

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


Why Start a Home Repair Ministry

Five reasons why your church should be involved in home repairs ministry.



Click the image to watch a short video.

The Debut of the Home Repairs Ministry Website

We are glad to have you looking around the Home Repairs Ministry (HRM) website. In an elevator conversation (it’s a very tall building), in explaining who/what we are, I might tell you that:

HRM is a nonprofit dedicated to mobilizing handy people from as many Christ-centered, Bible teaching churches as possible to help as many needy people as we can with their home repairs challenges and to address their spiritual needs by pointing them toward a relationship with Jesus Christ.

The big plan is to help you, the church, start or grow your home repair ministry teams to serve your low-income or otherwise hurting, home-owning, members and as an outreach to the community. This help will come mostly from the website where, by becoming a ministry partner, you can access all of the resources to get organized. We would like it to also become a community where you can ask & provide answers to questions from a national network of interested, mostly non-clergy, leaders. Also important in this movement is to encourage churches like yours, that share salvation by grace through faith in Christ, to work together, demonstrating that what binds us together is far greater than many important but not essential things that divide us.

Let’s lock arms and be the Body of Christ as described by the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 4:

1 . . . walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

Want to join the movement or know more about starting your own ministry? Find out more

Welcome!
Harvey

Launch!

LAUNCH DAY! March 16, 2012

It’s hard to believe that this day has actually arrived! It seems likely ages ago that we believe the Lord gave us a vision for uniting the church of Jesus Christ generally and home repairs ministries specifically in service to the hurting and vulnerable (see more about our organization and vision here – About HRM). And launch day is finally here! Praise be to our God!

We are excited to see what the Lord will do through you, the church and network of home repairs ministries.

One of the ways we want to provide help, value, and encouragement to you is through this blog. Here we plan to share ideas for how to serve and unite in ministry, thoughts about home repairs and stories of service. And links to other blogs that will show interesting content such as how to handle certain home repairs tasks.

We will also open up the blog from time-to-time to our Ministry Partner community. We want you to tell the network what’s on your mind and how God is moving through your ministry. We would especially value testimonies of God's faithfulness and goodness in working through your ministry.
If you aren’t yet a Partner, please consider joining us. We have a library of helpful content and that will only grow. More importantly, we hope to show Christ to the world by working on projects together. More information about Ministry Partnership and starting a home repairs ministry

This is an exciting time – we hope that you’ll join us!

Psalm 133:1 - "Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!" (ESV)

Psalm 127:1 - "Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain." (ESV)

New site coming soon!

Supporters and friends of Home Repairs Ministries, we have some exciting news! We recently hired a new Director of Communications and Development who has been working behind the scenes on a new HRM website.

The site is now in development and we wanted to give you a quick update. We are designing the site to help other churches launch their own home repairs ministries or optimize an existing ministry. We are providing our future partners with a comprehensive repository of information from our years of experience. We realize that as an Atlanta-area ministry we can only serve so many people with our local teams. By helping other churches start ministries we can serve many more than we could ourselves.

And our dream is that the site will be the centerpiece of our mission to unite the body of Christ in service to communities across the nation to His glory.

We'd love to say more, but for now we wanted to let you know what's going on behind the scenes. 2012 is going to be a very exciting year! Stay tuned!