Year of Congregational Preparation for the Church and Community Project

Project Number: 
Start Date: 
Wed, 07/01/1987
End Date: 
Thu, 06/30/1988

“The Year of Congregational Preparation for the Church and Community Project” served as the second phase of the long-term Church and Community Project. In this phase, Carl Dudley and the administrative staff worked with the Project’s four regional teams assisting the 40 “contract congregations” to develop and submit three-year ministry proposals in the areas of food and nutrition, housing and shelter, mental and physical health, education, employment and world peace. Approved proposals received up to $20,000 per year “seed money” for three years of ministry. By the end of the grant period 41 “partner congregations” had joined 37 “contract congregations” to launch a variety of ministries, with primary attention given to youth, children, and senior adult programs. The project aimed at: (1) contributing to healthier communities by meeting basic human needs, reducing individual dependency and developing personal self-worth; (2) strengthening congregations by learning how to develop biblically-based social ministries from Scripture and history; (3) enabling congregations to join with others in exploring and developing community ministries; (4) assisting congregations in adopting and integrating social commitments into their total ministry response; and (5) drawing from participating congregations those lessons which can be applied by other churches. Each congregation designated a Core Committee responsible for developing the ministry proposal. A lay chair (as chief administrator), the pastor (as visionary), and a historian/recorder (providing continuity) served as primary leaders. Sixteen regional workshops trained leaders in developing viable ministries that reflected congregational identity, sound community analysis, and appropriate project organization and resource development. The regional teams provided counsel and review as needed.