The “Community Impact” team, formerly known as the “Transformational Ministries” team has been going through a development process over the past few months. The goal of this team is to come alongside churches and help them create programs that directly impact their local communities. This is something I am passionate about and I am excited to see how we can “Transform Lives in Dynamic Communities” through it—acting out our vision statement for OMS Hungary.
One of the things we have decided is the name of this team. We wanted it to be clearer to our partners what we do and also clear to our supporters. “Transformational Ministries” does describe what our goal is, but ministries that happen within the church, such as discipleship, are also transformational. We are focused more around ministries of the church that reach outside their congregations. By using the name “Community Impact,” we hope it is clear to everyone that ministries and programs we help create are going to impact the community around the local church.
Over the past couple of months, I have been developing a process for what exactly this can look like. While there is a lot of flexibility in the process, it is important to have one so that ministries are sustainable and reproducible. For example, we are beginning to work with a church that wants to start a hospital visitation ministry. Instead of just taking a group of people from the church into the hospital one day and seeing how it goes, we are getting to know the partner, making a training guide, and will be going into the hospital a few times with them. Then we will step back and make sure they know that this is their ministry and that they have what they need to continue it without our direct hand in it week-to-week.
For all the amazing ministries that are going to be started in the next few years, it is important that we are doing it with the right church partners. If a church isn’t fully dedicated and wanting to reach their community, then a ministry won’t be fruitful. This is why we get to know them a little better and hear about what their hopes and dreams are for their church, community, and country. At the end of the day, we want whatever program and ministry we start to come out of the local church, we are just a resource and will help in whatever way we can.
It’s interesting to see that even in the past few years in Hungary there has been a shift and churches want to work more with other churches, organizations, and in their communities. The sky is the limit on what may happen in the future for this team and the ministries we will help with. We would love to see visitation ministries (hospital, nursing home, and prison), more English camps and clubs, and churches working with the marginalized people groups in their areas.
– By Madison Atkinson, OMS Hungary Team Member