One of the greatest resources in our local communities... Can you think of some of the greatest resources in our local communities? In this instance I am not referring to community centres, leisure centres, local parks, libraries, local businesses, support groups or any other resource I haven’t mentioned specifically, but am talking about the local church. There are so many local churches doing a fantastic work across our communities, some of which, goes under the radar and not many people know about. There are also a number of local churches with a heart to do something to reach out to those around them, but are not sure how to go about this or what to do. However, one thing we know for sure, is their why. Why they do what they do or why they want to reach out. Motivation As you read through the Bible, you can’t but help see that we as Christians are called to reach out and help those in need. Here at Street Connect we have always found that most Christians come with a high level of motivation to do exactly this. As the members of each local church already have this high level of motivation, it creates a sustainability and longevity as they draw on strength from God and the teachings of the Bible to motivate them to love and support some of the most hurting people in our communities. The people of God have a real empathy for those who are hurting in one way or another, and want to fulfil the call of God to reach out, and this is what drives and motivates them to do exactly this. Fulfilling the call of Jesus A lot of what we do at Street Connect is following in the footsteps of Jesus. This is the same for the church. Jesus himself was not just sat in a warm church waiting for the people to come to Him, no! he went out to where the people where. This is a huge part of both ours and the ethos of the local church. We don’t wait for the people to come to us, but getting out to where the people in need are. In Jesus’ time he was mixing with the outcasts of society, beggars, prostitutes, lepers, ‘sinners and tax collectors’. Basically, the people the religious people of His day, would not ‘associate’ with, but not Jesus! He would eat with them, spend time with them, and said it was for such ones He had came (Luke 4:18). So if Jesus was out on the streets, also He was eating and drinking with those in need, so we should go and do likewise. This is why the local church do what they do. Part of the Street Connect Vision A large part of the Street Connect vision going forward is: Empowering the local church to reach the lost As our work started as an outreach of Glasgow City Church in Glasgow City Centre in 2013, then became an outright charity of its own in 2014, we have since developed a service model we believe can be replicated around the UK in partnership with local churches. In 2017 we opened partnerships in Possilpark and Govan, 2 of Glasgow’s most deprived areas, with Clay Community Church and Govan Free Church respectively. In 2018 we have opened church partnerships with Park Christian Fellowship (Clydebank) and partnered with Cornerstone drop-in (local Christian Charity) in Paisley, which will soon become a partnership with Hopehall Evangelical Church. Both these towns are joined on to the outskirts of Glasgow. Also in 2018 we entered into a partnership with Community Church Deal (pictured) in Kent on the South coast of England, just round the corner from Glasgow! All these partnerships are flourishing in a variety of different ways as they impact their local communities. We have also had interest from a number of other churches around the UK, which is very exciting. Are you interested in partnering with us too? If you are part of a local church who is looking to reach out into your local community, whether you are a city centre church, or located in one of our many neighbourhoods and local communities around the nation, there are people crying out for help, and the local church has the answer! The local church is an amazing resource, and we want to help God’s people reach out to and support those with a variety of life controlling issues such as: various addictions, homelessness, loneliness and social isolation, mental health, poverty, prison leavers etc. We want to come alongside the local church to equip, empower and release the local church to fulfil its calling and purpose, and make a difference in the localities God has placed them. If this is something you would be interested in please get in touch via social media, our website, call us on 0141 237 5859 or email: [email protected] for further information. Thank you Not only have we as an organisation been blessed with partnerships working in local communities of real need, but partnerships where churches give regular financial donations to our work, which is greatly appreciated. We have seen such kindness from many congregations, that we don’t want to name them here, as it would be such a long list, and would hate to miss anyone out! We also recruit a lot of volunteers from the local church, and get a vast amount of prayer support, which we know is at the heart of the success of our work thus far. We want to thank everyone who contributes to our mission, and thank the local church for being such a fantastic resource in our local communities. If churches were to stop doing what they do in reaching out to those in need, society as a whole would soon notice the huge gap in service provision. I think we need to give the church more credit for what they do. Thank you.