Bible Class – Connecting with Community Resources

As our 20s & 30s Bible class continues to try new things and reach out to more people we decided we needed someone to come in and talk with our class about homelessness in our county. There are over 6000 homeless people in our county and growing. So there is definitely a need and a very visible one at that. I can’t tell you how many times we have discussed the problem of homelessness in our Bible class and we haven’t really had ready solutions or answers other than putting a band aid on the problem or throwing a few dollars at it. Either approach seems more focused on making ourselves feel better than actually fixing the problem or really doing something meaningful to help lift someone out of that situation.

We had the director of the coalition for the homeless in our county come and speak to our class. He brought with him a gentleman who used to be homeless, but lifted himself out, to share his story. It was powerful and helpful. It normalized it a bit for us and really put a face on the problem. We had a lot of questions left to ask about how we can make a difference that we weren’t able to get to so we are having them back for one more week to be able to ask them our questions and learn how to really address this issue. I hope to share some of that information next week.

It is important that we partner with relevant community resources so that we do things that are meaningful, effective, and so that we don’t spin our wheels. We want to make a difference. Often we have to evaluate things and talk with those who have more experience and expertise in these areas than we do. So we have taken one small step to partner with community resources to expand our efforts to impact homelessness in this county.

Has your church ever partnered with non-church agencies or organizations to make an impact on your community?

How was it done and what was the result?

More next week on practical things we can do to address this issue.

About mattdabbs
I am a minister, husband, and father. My wife and I live and minister in Saint Petersburg, Florida. My primary ministry responsibilities include: small groups, 20s and 30s, involvement, and adult education.

5 Responses to Bible Class – Connecting with Community Resources

  1. Maria says:

    We have a homeless outreach at our church in Marietta, Georgia. We take a meal to the town square every week and distribute clothing, blankets, socks, backbacks, and toiletries when we get donations. The ministry started when one member was in charge of the college group and asked the local non-profit serving people and families in crisis where the homeless were living in our area. We drove around and literally beat the bushes to find groups of men camping behind office buildings. From there we established relationships with key members of the homeless community which eventually led us to this centralized location from which we can serve the 12-22 men (and occasionally women) per week.

    • mattdabbs says:

      Perfect example. I have heard of a lot of campus ministries taking on a similar model to show the homeless that Christians still care. Thank you for sharing that!

    • cnsohm says:

      Maria does this every week. When I went with her one night, I noticed an interesting mix of folks, some of whom have some kind of plan or aspiration to get back on their feet, and some of whom have no interest in living any other way. True, homelessness is a problem, but it’s also a symptom of deeper problems. Any ministry that tries to help needs to keep this in mind.

  2. Wendy says:

    my church partners with Hope Steert, an organisation here in Sydney, We pay the salary for one of their staff and are involved in many ways. We raise funds for them, spend time volunteering there and a group holds babrecues monthly and does yard work for those who need it (not the homeless obviously). http://www.hopestreet.org.au/home.htm They had the setup and networks so we are not reinventing the wheel,

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