Five years ago, Larry Patow was paralyzed. He’d taken a fall; it happened quickly. Thanks to surgery, a month in a rehab hospital, and two years of physical therapy, Patow has mostly recovered. (He still has nerve damage in his hands.) For the last three years, he’s visited people who haven’t had the same results with their own recovery.
“We want to connect with our community, but we’re not sure how.”
It’s something we hear often from churches. The RCA has a rich history in global mission, but what about closer to home? Until recently, many churches understood “mission” as something done mostly by missionaries in faraway places.
Our commitment to local missional engagement means that we celebrate and encourage the many examples of RCA churches doing creative ministry with their communities. It’s a renewed focus on mission principles that have always been a part of the RCA. Realizing that churches are making less of an impact in their neighborhoods than they once were, we are challenged to embrace the totality of the Great Commission. We are committed to offering resources, networking, and support to any church that wants to engage in mission locally.
Most local mission opportunities fall into one of three broad categories:
Want to get involved with local mission, but don’t know how? We can help.
Stories about Local Missional Engagement
Women at a church in Midland, Michigan, love to bless and support young single moms. “To walk beside a young mom, encouraging her in her life’s journey, is one of the biggest blessings of my life,” says Merci Danielson.
Danielson mentors moms through Young Lives, an outreach program of Young Life that her church, Midland Reformed, hosts during the school year. “We have club two times each month where countless women and men [from churches around Midland] serve as mentors, club helpers, childcare workers, and also provide some of the meals we enjoy each club,” she says.
It reads like a modern-day parable: unexpected guests, and somehow the food was enough to go around.