The Foundation for Evangelism launched its inaugural round of funding for the Equipping the Local Church Grants in June. These grants are already impacting 31 communities in four different denominations across 15 states. Grant recipients were required to show how the grant would help their congregation share and live out their faith, working with the congregations strengths and the needs of the community. Already the grants are helping smaller local churches invite those in their community to join the Christian journey.
Living Hope Church of the Nazarene – Largo, Florida
Pastor Josh Heer shared that their church has started two outreach programs to families in their community. Working with a local organization that helps single moms and their families, they started Backyard Club, a time of play, crafts, music, and sharing Bible Stories. He told us, “We are so excited to see how the relationships and partnership continue to grow.”
They also started Sports Night, inviting the community for team play. “Weave been able to connect with and pray for several families because of these Sports Nights,” said Pastor Heer. On just their second gathering they had 53 people attend. Forty were new to the church!
Mission210, Church Plant – Groveland, Florida
Planting pastor Dana Franchetti and her church plant community began by throwing a party to get to know their neighbors. “We met around 80 people at our event in the park. We prayed with two people and will be following up with 3-4 families about becoming involved in the life of the church.”
Southside Community Center – Peoria, Illinois
Southside Community Center is a Nazarene Compassionate Ministry Center. Their grant initiative is funding Christian leadership and discipleship formation in their community for people coming out of poverty and high crime areas. They recently hosted a Freedom Day celebration, bringing together people in the community. Pastor Irene Lewis-Wimbley, Director, was able to provide a summer leadership program called Leadership Academy for 50 children in the community.
Communities on Mission partnership with Church of the Nazarene – National
Several Church of the Nazarene distracts across the United States are working with Communities on Mission to share the Gospel. In the communities these churches serve, practicing Christians are in the minority. This grant will train, coach and connect Spanish speaking pastors and laity to assess how to do grassroots evangelism where they live.
Scenic Drive Church of the Nazarene – Springfield, Missouri
Pastor John Koutz told us that Scenic Church has been able to provide a monthly respite care night to foster parents in their community, partnering with a local foster care agency to be a resource. It has been an immediate success! They have averaged 20 kids ages 4 months to 16 years old. Through a meal, game times and Bible lesson, they are offering a break to foster parents. The grant has helped to open doors to touch people with the love of Christ.