Faith In Action. Planning Guide for Congregations in the U.S. & Canada. Faith In Action Planning Guide page 1

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1 Faith In Action Planning Guide for Congregations in the U.S. & Canada page 1

2 Faith In Action is... Members of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS), Evangelical Lutheran Synod (ELS), and other church bodies of the Confessional Evangelical Lutheran Conference (CELC), personally showing their love and concern for the community through a congregation s outreach program. Volunteers serving alongside local church members in member-ministry Members of the congregation working together in a common effort and encouraging each other in the joy of confidently sharing the good news message. Volunteers growing through their study in God s Word and acquiring skills in sharing the gospel blessings they will draw on for the rest of their lives. The opportunity that Christians have to enrich their spiritual lives, build a sense of community, and provide a real-life experience in lay leadership. The opportunity we all have to demonstrate and celebrate our oneness in Christ. It provides volunteers first-hand experience to do outreach with fellow Christian brothers and sisters. It validates the important work being done all within our Christian fellowship. Finally, and most important, the kingdom of God benefits in all of the ways cited above and more. Working through the gospel, the Spirit initiates and reinforces that amazing, grace-filled blessing called faith. page 2

3 Benefits the congregation by creating a caring, personal presence in the community, representing Christ and the congregation positively, by developing relationships with unchurched individuals and families, and by providing encouragement and a loving example to all congregations in their ministry of outreach. Team Request Process 1. Congregation/ministry develops a plan for use of Faith In Action volunteers including follow-up and assessment of long-term outcome. 2. Congregations/ministries submit a team request to Kingdom Workers. 3. For WELS congregations, Kingdom Workers will share all requests with the appropriate district mission board chairman. 4. Kingdom Workers will review ministry plans, budget, and acknowledge acceptance or refusal. NOTE: Congregations should plan on a calendar-year basis when requesting a team (see request deadline dates below). Team types General Volunteers serve for one to two weeks through a variety of projects like vacation Bible school, canvassing, and sports Bible camps. Projects occur throughout the year. Canvassing Sharing the gospel door-to-door: ranging from simple door hangers to extended questionnaires Distribute door hanger bags - brochures left at all homes; no planned attempt to speak to residents Door-to-door canvass - personal interviews of residents; brochures left with those without a current church home or where residents were not available Telephone canvass/follow up Ethnographic surveys - conduct surveys which assist the mission in understanding an area s makeup, diversities, and spiritual needs; conduct these out in the community Follow Up - personal outreach calls will be made to households and families already part of the congregation s prospect list Bible Camps Congregations invite families in the community to hear God s Word and learn skills in a variety of areas: sports, music, arts, theater, etc. Vacation Bible School Could include pre-canvass, VBS teaching and training, and post-vbs follow up at Christmas, Thanksgiving, or Easter break Other types of projects: Spanish-speaking outreach; Senior ministry; Host a run-walk on behalf of the community to gather food for the food shelf; Technology outreach training; Outreach concerts; FIA teams could arrive after a BFC projects to continue reaching out to the community Summer Ministry Assistance (SMA) WELS/ELS members who assist congregations with various ministry outreach projects like canvassing, teaching, coaching sports camps, vacation Bible school, summer pre-school events, and other activities. This is a 10-week summer program. SMA volunteers can be serve multiple congregations in a region. A team is comprised of one or two volunteers. page 3

4 TEAM REQUEST DEADLINES! October 23, deadline for Spring projects October 23, deadline for Summer Ministry Assistance (SMA) (ten-week program) projects January 5, deadline for Summer projects April 30, deadline for Fall/Winter projects *Please note, early submission allows more time for recruitment and volunteer fundraising! Responsibilities of the Congregation/Ministry Financial & Insurance General team - $200 per volunteer requested due to Kingdom Workers one month prior to team arrival Summer Ministry Assistance team - $1,400 per volunteer due a week prior to team arrival Congregations/ministries can use a Kingdom Workers gifting site to help raise the funds needed to cover this cost Congregations/ministries in the same region could also choose to share an SMA team during the 10- week timeframe to share costs. *This financial responsibility will be waived for congregations that are mission/exploratory status. Must have a general liabilities coverage in place. Housing & Transportation Congregation/ministry will provide housing (including utilities and meals) Consider food, environmental, and pet allergies when securing housing. Kingdom Workers will gather allergy and medical information from volunteers and share as needed. Provide local transportation (this includes to and from the airport) or cover fuel expense if volunteer uses their personal vehicle while on site Local church members are expected to be involved with the project alongside the Kingdom Workers volunteers. Pre-Trip Volunteer Orientation congregations are asked to connect with volunteers either individually or as a team web conference to share information about the outreach project(s), an overview of the community, and other information that helps the volunteers prepare to serve. Reflection and Feedback - The pastor is required to submit a final report (Team Activity Report and Feedback Form) within 30 days to help Kingdom Workers continuously assess and improve project impact. Sharing Updates Volunteers and congregations are expected to share their outreach experience with Kingdom Workers. The stories, along with pictures and video, will be shared through Kingdom Workers blog and social media posts, as well as print pieces. This will serve to encourage others to become involved and support our ministry. Kingdom Workers will provide the guidelines prior to the team s arrival. page 4

5 Planning a Successful Outreach Event Good planning and communication are essential Congregations/ministries cannot begin planning an outreach project too soon. Here are some essential points to help you. Early planning provides Kingdom Workers adequate time to recruit volunteers, allows volunteers time for fundraising, and allows the congregation to better prepare the mission project. be creative and organized delegate necessary work/member involvement communicate expectations clearly to the congregation/ministry and your volunteers be flexible in exercising the plan follow the four c s Communicate, Commitment, Collaboration, and Christ-Centered Important information when planning your request An ideal number for a typical team is two to four volunteers, but not exclusively held to that number. High school-aged volunteers require an adult chaperone. The chaperone is also expected to participate as a volunteer. The congregation should prepare the project schedule in advance. Kingdom Workers volunteers are encouraged to use their gifts to serve at least six hours a day five days week. This includes preparation for the outreach project. We encourage you to join the Kingdom Workers team in daily team Bible studies and reflection while they are on site. Prepare for pre-trip communication with the Kingdom Workers team either through , phone calls, or a team web conference call. Provide any project information/curriculum to the volunteers to help them prepare in advance For all projects, members also must directly participate with the Faith In Action team(s). The church members are better suited to develop long-term relationships with new contacts. Volunteers are simply there to assist. Congregations are encouraged to develop print media and promotional material to reach out to the community as part of the mission project. Additional activities for the volunteers to help them become active members of the congregation during their time of service: Give a short presentation about Kingdom Workers and the mission project. Sing with your congregation s choir or assist the musicians for a service that precedes the canvass or camp Help with Sunday school We encourage scheduling volunteers to arrive on a Saturday and depart on a Monday. This allows them to participate in multiple church services and connect with people they met during the mission project who might be attending church for the first time. (The volunteer schedule and flight availability could be determining factors.) page 5

6 Overview of a typical outreach event Member(s)/committee should be assigned to coordinate all the local planning and implementation of the event and follow-up. Arrangements will need to be made well in advance of the team s arrival. Work needs to be done in all these areas: Transportation - provide transportation for team(s) while in the community Lodging - solicit host families Meals - provide meals for Faith In Action team(s) Print media - prepare and package brochures, other media Promotion - send or call in news releases to local media Logistics - secure permits, preview areas, buy supplies Follow up the congregation should prepare a long-term follow-up plan. If canvassing, prospects should be given immediate attention by the pastor and his evangelism committee. They may also consider a telephone follow-up program by members, or a series of follow-up calls made by the current Faith In Action team. If hosting a VBS, decide how you will reach out to the families who sent their children to participate. During the event the local pastor supervises and the congregation s members are expected to be involved at every level, including joining the volunteers outreach efforts. Along with thanking the Kingdom Workers team, please share with them the impact they made by serving your congregation. page 6

7 Checklist to prepare for the arrival of your Faith In Action team Once Kingdom Workers has secured your volunteer team Contact each volunteer (information supplied by Kingdom Workers) and encourage regular communication. Provide volunteers with the following: Work responsibilities Outreach training provided by congregation Profile of congregation and community Appropriate attire for the event(s) and area climate Host family information 90 days before team arrival (where applicable) Travel General: For teams flying to the site, congregation is responsible to arrange pick up and return of the team to the airport. Tickets will be purchased through the Kingdom Workers office. Decisions on the team s ground transportation while on site should be completed at this time. Travel Summer Ministry Assistance: Once a team is chosen, it will be determined if a team will drive or fly. If flying is chosen, Kingdom Workers will assist volunteers in securing their tickets. Congregation is still responsible for pickup and return of the team to the airport, as well as ground transportation on site. If team drives to site, congregation is expected to help with cost overrun of travel to and from site beyond the travel stipend provided by Kingdom Workers to the volunteers. NOTE: Leased vans or rental cars must only be driven by someone 25 years or older. Lodging - Normally the volunteers will be staying with host families. Usual arrangement is for a pair of volunteers of the same gender per host family. It is never too soon for the congregation to seek commitments from members to host volunteers. The pastor and his family should not feel obligated to house the volunteers. Meals - The congregation is responsible for all meals while volunteers are on site. We encourage host families and other members to be involved in this area. Print media and promotion - Final decisions in both areas need to be made at this time. Logistics - Check local ordinances to determine if there are any regulations pertaining to your outreach event. Any necessary permits should be secured. Secure and purchase the necessary materials pertaining to your outreach project. page 7

8 60 days before team arrival (where applicable) Transportation - All travel arrangements should be finalized. Lodging - Share with volunteers, if recruited. Meals - Basic decisions on meals should be finalized. Additional activities be sure to finalize plans if there is a free day Print media - Brochures should be finished by this time. Promotion - Preparation of mass mailings, if used, ought to be nearing completion. Are news releases ready for local media? Logistics - Have you checked on local ordinances and secured necessary permits? If canvassing, areas should be previewed thoroughly and, if needed, maps adjusted accordingly. Any materials needed for the particular project should be secured. 30 days before team arrival (where applicable) Transportation, lodging, meals - Final arrangements should be made at this time. Communications - Communicate with volunteers and continue until arrival. Print media - Samples of all materials should be in the hands of the congregation. Brochures should be packaged in door hanger bags. Promotion - All news releases should be in the hands of local media. Logistics - Local police should be informed of the canvass/event at least two weeks in advance. Any necessary permits should be secured. Connect with the Kingdom Workers volunteers either through , phone, or a team web conference call to prepare them for the mission project page 8

9 We re here for you! Kingdom Workers requires and receives pastoral recommendation on each volunteer. However, we are all imperfect human beings. Should your volunteer exhibit behavior that is not appropriate while serving the congregation or living with their host family, please do not hesitate to contact the volunteer management team at our office ( ). Partnering with you, we will determine the best and most appropriate course of action to take. Our volunteers serve as representatives of your congregation and community, their home congregations, Kingdom Workers, and, most important, our Lord. As such, their actions will reflect their love for Christ and the people they serve. I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 1:3-6 Have Questions? Contact: Joyce Beglinger Volunteer Coordinator (414) Neil Hankwitz Volunteer Coordinator (414) N. Mayfair Road Suite 400 Wauwatosa, Wis (414) fax (414) KingdomWorkers.com facebook.com/kingdomworkers page 9

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