Northpoint Church reaches community for Christ
Northpoint Baptist Church in Dundalk, Md., had several goals for using Strengthening Churches Grant funds: to promote a new website and to obtain resources that would help the church become intentional in outreach.
After receiving the funds, Northpoint bought a banner for the church sign structure, advertising their new website, http://npbcdundalk.com. They also bought 1,500 door hangers directing neighbors to the new website and they bought Bibles.
The results from the sign were almost immediate.
“It has been really effective,” Swan said. “We have had visitors who saw the banner, went to the website, liked what they saw and decided to come and check out the church.” Some have become regular attenders.
The door hangers, also promoting the website, also brought results, including a visit from a 20-year-old man who made a commitment to follow Jesus.
A group from the church canvassed the community, chatting with neighbors, and leaving door hangers. Swan said almost everyone they spoke with was welcoming.
Dundalk resident Tom Dimattei said the door hanger was confirmation to him that he should visit the church. He drove by several times, thought about visiting, but hadn’t taken that step.
Dimattei called Swan and asked him about the church. Swan invited Dimattei to come to the church for a tour. Dimattei said that helped alleviate his anxiety about visiting. Swan spent three hours with Dimattei, told him everything Dimattei wanted to know about the church and shared the plan of salvation with the young man.
“I felt comfortable,” Dimattei said. We talked for a long time and he asked me if I wanted to accept Jesus in my heart. I didn’t feel pressure. I felt comfortable doing it.
In addition to reaching out to the community, Swan said distributing the hangers is helping the congregation become intentional in reaching their community.
Sharon Bible Fellowship Church’s Lighthouse Ministries of Compassion
Sharon Bible Fellowship Church in Lanham, Md., used Strengthening Churches Grant funds to help start Lighthouse Ministries of Compassion, a 501c3 ministry designed to help people in transition.
The church is partnering with Global Mission and New Revival Center to provide resources for people coming out of incarceration or rehab.
Victor O. Kirk, pastor of Sharon Bible Fellowship Church, said the church wants to be a resource center, helping people get back on their feet by assisting through tutoring, helping them get social service assistance and clothing.
“We also want to help with housing. That’s one of the biggest needs,” Kirk explained.
Kirk said the ministry includes entrepreneur training. “One thing we found out it is that many of them can’t get blue or white collar jobs, but they can start their own business.”
“We just became a 501c3 last year so we’re still growing and transitioning into what we would like to become,” he said.
Kirk is also working on encouraging the church to be a healing community, open to ministering to those who have made mistakes in their lives and are trying to get back on their feet.
Kirk said the church has been inspired by several church members who have seen their lives change through the love of the church and committing their lives to Jesus.
Diana Brown is one of those individuals. Brown said she struggled with drugs since she was 17 years old. She hit rock bottom 32 years later and ended up at a detox program in Washington, D.C., who referred her to Fulton House of Hope. That’s where she discovered Sharon Bible Fellowship.
“Every Sunday they would come and minister through the Word and in singing and praise. They brought my attention to God.”
As Diana worked through the drug program at Fulton House, she was allowed to pick a church to attend. It was an easy choice. She chose Sharon Bible Fellowship.
Brown made a commitment to follow Jesus and has been sober for five years.
“This is not just a ‘three hots and a cot’ program. My pastor’s goal is to give strengthening tools…to be there for them and keep them lifted up.
Sherrise Hall was released from prison in 2007.
“When I got out of prison, they didn’t give me a handout; they gave me a hand up,” Hall said.
She said the church helped her find a job when she had exhausted all of her possibilities and cried out to the Lord. A “wounded women” ladies group helped her form relationships and provided accountability. “They became my sisters,” she said.
She and Diana Brown both minister at Fulton House, sharing their stories and sharing Christ. Both women are anticipating seeing the new ministry be a true lighthouse, leading struggling, hurting people to Jesus.
FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO APPLY FOR A STRENGTHENING CHURCHES GRANT, go to https://bcmd.org/financial
Maximum amount per grants: $4,000.
Deadline for submission: 02/13/13