Vista, CA “Faith in Action” was developed by World Vision, Zondervan and Outreach, Inc. in 2007 to encourage churches, ministries and small groups to serve and meet practical needs in their local communities.
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The “Faith in Action” program includes an awareness-building campaign to educate the church on the power of “loving our neighbors.” The program also helps church members invite people from their community to join in serving. It culminates in a service day where the entire church partners with the community to perform service projects.
“We’re excited that, for the first time in the history of the church, we’ll be closed to do the true calling of the church, which is reaching out and doing missions,” says Rev. Dr. Adolphus C. Lacey, pastor of Mount Olivet Baptist Church.
John Ortberg, best-selling author and pastor, is the national spokesman for “Faith in Action.” He called the initiative “a dynamic program that galvanizes your congregation to be the hands and feet of Jesus in meeting real needs in your local community.”
Richard Stearns, president for World Vision, agreed. “‘Faith in Action’ is a powerful way to demonstrate the love of Jesus to our neighbors,” he said.
With the help of this campaign, churches have organized food drives and helped the elderly and needy with home repairs. Some groups cleaned and landscaped public areas or private homes. Some maintained women’s or homeless shelters. One church adopted a school and committed to performing regular clean-up and gardening tasks. Churches regularly share their experiences on the “Faith in Action” Facebook page: www.facebook.com/putyourfaithinaction.
“Churches all over the U.S.—even churches that are financially stressed themselves—have made a genuine difference to their struggling and hurting neighbors with the ‘Faith in Action’ program,” said Eric Abel, vice president of marketing for Outreach, Inc. “Pastors are raving about the results, saying it really made a difference in their communities. Their members can’t wait to do it again.”
Many churches have signed up for “Faith in Action Sunday” to date, although some have chosen alternative dates for the event. Some are joining together to do community-wide and even city-wide events. Check the roster of participating churches to see if a church near you is participating: www.putyourfaithinaction.org/roster.
Eric Marsh, pastor of Long Beach Grace Brethren Church in California, said, “‘Faith in Action’ is a way to kick-start a church’s focus on external service. It’s not just the one-day thing.”
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide by tacking the causes of poverty and injustice.
Founded in 1996, Outreach, Inc has quickly grown to become the largest provider of church outreach products and services in the world. With a mission to share God’s love and empower the church to share the message of Jesus Christ, Outreach provides cost-effective, proven methods and resources in a variety of forms, including books, media and film, postcard invitations, banners, bulletin covers, curriculum, church campaign materials and more. Outreach is located in North San Diego County and employs more than 120 people.