Churches are an important part of American society because they often have outreach ministries that meet the community's spiritual, emotional, educational and financial needs. We're living in more troublesome times, and there is a stronger need for churches to perform community outreach. For example, a church may consider operating a job training center where church members from various occupations are recruited to assist local residents in writing cover letters and resumes, dressing properly for the interview and filling out college applications. Another good outreach ministry idea is for the church to have a fathers' counseling ministry that will assist them in giving their children spritual guidance, respect for the children's mothers, living with integrity and how to manage finances. One other outreach idea is for the church to start a mentoring program for the children of incarcerated parents.
Especially in area are prone to annual hurricanes or other forms of severe weather, it would be a good idea for the church to start a group than can offer immediate relief when disasters happen. For example, one church member will be in charge of providing the food, another church member will provide the clothing and toiletries, while a few other church members can be in charge of raising money to help victims find new apartments get financial rental assistance.
Prisoners are especially in need of guidance and compassion, and the church can help them in this respect. The prison ministry can visit the jails in the city and speak with prisoners about the importance of turning their lives around so they can become more productive citizens in society. Ministry officials could also work with prison administrators to help prisoners prepare for and take the GED exam if they didn't graduate from high school.
Married church couples should consider forming a ralationship mentoring program for young unmarried couples in their area. For example, the married couples can host engaged couples at their homes for once or twice a week and teach them what it takes for a successful marriage to work. Another good idea is for the youth counselor to hold weekly seminars for at-risk teenagers and discuss ways to get along better with their families, friends, teachers and dating partners.
Thea Theresa English is a freelance writer who lives in New Orleans. She has written articles on career development, maintaining healthy relationships, politics and cultural issues. She is currently a graduate student at Tulane University where she will receive her Master of Liberal Arts degree.