The church was created for service. It serves the Lord in praise, serves one another in love, and serves the world in humility. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works” (Ephesians 2:10).
Duties of the Community Services Director
1. Discovering the needs of the community A needs assessment of your area should be completed every two or three years by visual inspection; by talking with police, fire, mental health, and welfare authorities; by reviewing the news media; and by conducting surveys. A methodology for conducting a community survey has been published in chapter four of Ministries of Compassion (AdventSource 1994).
2. Mobilizing a response to specific concerns. It is your responsibility to help your church identify social concerns to which it feels called to respond. Usually this decision will be made in the outreach or personal ministries committee. Once the decision is made you will have the task of getting the word out and rousing the congregation to action. To learn how to mobilize and organize the church members for outreach, see Ministries of Compassion, chapter three.
3. Organization of programs. You will be asked to recruit volunteers and arrange details of disaster relief programs, entry events (activities through which non-members participate for the first time in a church-sponsored activity), and other social action projects. These will include health screening, aid for the poor, literacy and employment assistance, and inner city programs.
4. Establish cooperation. The community services director is asked to work with other organizations in the community so the church does not duplicate services. Contracts have been negotiated at national levels with the Red Cross and government agencies specifying what Adventist Community Services will do in the event of major disasters and related to certain social problems. Similar agreements are needed in your area. This may mean that you, or someone you appoint, will meet regularly with inter-agency committees to represent the Adventist Church.
5. Communication. You are the person the congregation expects to keep it posted about Adventist Community Services activities, as well as provide information on current issues. This means that you will want to utilize the personal ministries time once a month (as outlined in denominational policy), prepare announcements for the bulletin and church newsletter, and distribute a comprehensive statistical report at least once a year. Since the yearly “Ingathering” appeal is a major source of funds for community services, the community service leader will want to be involved.
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