Outreach’s Church Consultation and Ministry Development services add substance to the second half of Outreach’s mission statement, to “partner with the local church to put Christian faith into action through service to the community,” by turning Christian community development strategies at Outreach upside down.
For many years, Outreach has accomplished its mission by inviting churches to partner in establishing family resource centers: Wheaton Youth Outreach in 1973, Warrenville Youth & Family Services in 1985 and the Outreach Community Center in Carol Stream in 1986. These ministries are operated by Outreach—churches and their congregants are partners in this effort. They provide leaders, volunteers and financial support. For years, Outreach was at the forefront, calling churches toward local compassion ministry.
Today, churches are embracing this call to local mission and are utilizing Outreach as a consultant to help them launch their own compassion ministries.
The New Paradigm
The ministry partnership between Outreach and Wheaton Bible Church at Puente del Pueblo has created a paradigm shift where we infuse our people inside the church to help it reach out to the community. This model provides the church instant access to the ministry models at Outreach, its experience and knowledge and its expert compassion ministry workers.
With funding provided primarily by the church as the lead partner, Outreach staff is able to focus on what they do best—facilitate compassion ministries.
Based on this new paradigm and successes at Puente, church consultation is underway in additional new communities, in some cases with small coalitions of churches and in other cases with a lead church. In all of these situations, the focus is on how Outreach can help local churches develop and implement compassion ministry in their community.
These conversations offer Outreach the opportunity to leverage its expertise and expand its presence and impact throughout DuPage County. They represent churches that are willing to consider commissioning literally thousands of dollars and thousands of hours of lay volunteer service for local compassion ministry.