Loving Your Community: Proven Practices for Community-Based Outreach Ministry

Loving Your Community: Proven Practices for Community-Based Outreach Ministry

by Stephen Viars

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Overview

Are you and your church making a difference in your community? Are you meeting needs in a positive, proactive, and loving way? Too often when churches are presented with a need outside their walls, they operate on the principle of "Say no unless you have to say yes."

Don't want that to be your church's legacy in your community? Drawing on more than 30 years of service to the community surrounding Faith Church in Indiana, pastor Stephen Viars shows you how to develop a dynamic, giving relationship with your community, one in which your natural response to needs is "Yes! How can we help?"

No matter the size, location, demographics, or issues in your community, the approach found in this practical book will help you improve people's lives, draw them into productive conversation about the hope you have in Christ, and glorify God.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781493421428
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/21/2020
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 240
File size: 11 MB
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About the Author

Stephen Viars (MDiv, Grace Theological Seminary; DMin, Westminster Theological Seminary) has served as a pastor and biblical counselor at Faith Church and Faith Biblical Counseling Ministries in Lafayette, Indiana, since 1987. He is a frequent speaker at conferences, colleges, and seminaries in the United States and abroad. In addition to overseeing the staff and ministries at Faith, he also serves on the boards of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, the Biblical Counseling Coalition, Vision of Hope, and the Faith Community Development Corporation. The author of Putting Your Past in Its Place, he and his wife, Kris, have been married since 1982 and have three children and three grandchildren.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Taking the Gospel to the Streets 11

Part 1 The Biblical Foundation of Community-Based Ministry

1 Loving in the Name of Christ 19

2 Meeting Your Community's Pressing Needs 35

3 Caring for the Welfare of Your Community 52

Part 2 The Practice of Community-Based Ministry

4 Biblical Counseling: Sharing Hope with Those Who Are Hurting 67

5 Accessible Facilities: Opening Your Buildings to Neighbors in Need 80

6 Instructional Classes: Showing the Practicality of God's Word 95

7 Restructured Ministries: Including Others in Everything You Do 111

8 Outreach Events: Making Big Statements to Celebrate God's Glory 126

9 Restored Neighborhoods: Bringing New Life to Distressed Areas 141

10 Community Centers: Constructing Your Next Building with Others in Mind 156

11 Residential Treatment Programs: Demonstrating God's Power to Change Lives 172

Part 3 The Challenges of Community-Based Ministry

12 Answering Common Objections 193

13 Getting Started 206

Epilogue: Pictures Are Powerful 221

Notes 231

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Loving Your Community: Proven Practices for Community-Based Outreach Ministry 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous 15 days ago
Loving Your Community, by Stephen Viars, is a thought-provoking book that challenges churches to love their communities instead of only serving the needs of their members. This book presents stories of how meeting a community’s physical and practical needs can serve as a pathway to meeting people’s spiritual needs. Viars is a pastor at Faith Church in Indiana. This book draws from the steps that Faith Church took to reach out to their immediate community and show them God’s love. The ways Faith Church stepped out in faith are truly inspiring. For example, they bought a piece of dilapidated property and built a community center, started an annual Passion Play that serves as an outreach to thousands, and started rehabilitation centers that provide counseling and shelter. Such projects may seem overwhelming to smaller congregations. However, Viars encourages churches to dream big, but to not be afraid to start small. He makes a good point that many churches sit vacant six days out of the week. If your church has a building with a place to meet, that could be a valuable space for those in the surrounding community. The church that I am a member of recently built a gymnasium and there has been a lot of talk about how we can use it as an outreach ministry. Loving Your Community illustrates what is possible when the Church opens it doors to their community and how God can be glorified in the process.
FayJac 4 months ago
This is a very needed and practical book about “Taking the Gospel to the Streets”, getting out of our comfort zone and using our resources to help and love the community. Pastor Viars gives all kinds of ideas and ways for us to love our neighbors and reach out to them. Instead of saying “no unless you have to say yes” he encourages us to say yes and yes and yes! This book talks about reaching out to public leaders and law enforcement and neighbors and asking them what the greatest needs in the communities are and then finding ways to meet them. The Bible repeatedly tells us to love our neighbors and even our enemies. It tells us to be a light and ambassadors to the world. Too often our churches are inward centered and so busy caring for our needs and our members and not reaching out to a lost world. This book shows you how to do both. Pastor Viar's church has become a leader in teaching and showing others what an outward based ministry can look like. Without compromising or changing the gospel, we can reach out and have classes for the community, Bible-based counseling, community centers, etc. We can start in such a simple way as shoveling snow for widows and single moms. Everyone, including the youth, can get involved in looking for and finding ways to minister to their neighbors. This is a great book and I found it inspiring to me. I would like to find ways to reach out to my neighbors and show love to them and encourage our church to do the same. Let's really love our communities! (Please Note: Although an e-copy of this book was sent to me to review by Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group, the opinions expressed are my own.)