Being “His Hands and Feet in your Neighborhood” through COVID-19 and Beyond
With a team of volunteers, we are launching a ministry in our subdivision of 500 homes to be the Hands and Feet of Jesus through encouraging and serving our neighbors. Because of a high level of interest in this effort, we are sharing all of it here. We hope that others may use the ideas, processes, and materials to bring encouragement, help, and God’s love more quickly to their neighbors, whether they are in a subdivision, small town, or apartment building.
We are proceeding with agile development and a fail fast approach. In today’s situation, fast action beats perfect performance too late. There is not time to pilot and test. What you are seeing is what we are working on now, and we will update as we refine it. Use what is helpful for you and your community that you are trying to serve.
Keep It Simple
For our group, the leadership team plans through bi-weekly Zoom calls and communicates via email, text, and shared documents as needed. Each member of the leadership team has specific areas of responsibility, and they also each lead one care group. It’s a rapidly evolving initiative, and we stay in close communication to share ideas and execute them to fulfill our mission.
Our mission is to be Jesus’ Hands and Feet in our Subdivision through encouraging and serving our neighbors.
We have three primary areas of focus:
Evolution of an Idea
- It all started with a prayer walk leaving notes on doors with scripture, and we never thought it would go beyond that. If that’s what you can do in your neighborhood right now, start there, and you’re sure to brighten people’s day.
- Then came Facebook posts in the subdivision group with 50 replies of prayer requests and also praises for this effort.
- Doors for encouragement filled with scripture cards.
- Colored crosses to hang in windows.
- The launch of a special Facebook group where people can find daily encouragement, ask for prayer, or request help.
- Formation of a Prayer Team and a Resource Team to respond to request in each of those areas.
- We are now forming Care Groups, where each leader cares for 15 to 20 homes and checks in with them regularly. We’re still designing this part of the program, but we know the impact will be far reaching.
The important thing is to do something, not everything. Pick and choose from the resources below based on what is manageable for you, tailoring it to your location.
- How-to create an “Encouragement Door”
- How-to start a “Cross in the Window” campaign
- The Steps for Building an Outreach Program
- Outreach overall structure and plan of action
- Example of outreach mission and guiding principles
- How-to start a Prayer Ministry
- How-to start a Needs Ministry to assist with essentials
- How to start Care Groups so each person is regularly checked on and encouraged
- Promotional Materials (Facebook Group, banners, letters)
We will continue to update these as we make changes based on what we learn (and we share our discoveries in the pdf’s). We wanted to get information up as soon as possible and followed General Patton’s rule of a good plan now vs. perfection later (also part of our guiding principles). Our hope is that by sharing these files, it reduces your planning time, inspires ideas, and helps you move forward. Feel free to reach out with questions.