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Check out Joy's article, "Building Community Through Arts Ministry" in Faith and Leadership magazine, Duke Divinty School, Duke University
A practical guide for church leaders seeking to engage their congregations with the community, offering step-by-step instructions on 7 ways to structure transformational community ministry.
Joy Skjegstad first outlines processes for learning about the neighborhood, assessing gifts and passions within the church, and finding a good fit between congregation and community.
7 Creative Models:
• Donate Goods or Money• Mobilize Volunteers• Partner with Another Organization• Advocate around Public Policy• Engage in Community Organizing• Develop a Ministry Program• Create a Church-based Nonprofit
Each of the Model chapters features examples of churches that have implemented the model, with advice on strategies that worked and pitfalls to avoid. Subsequent chapters tackle how to:
• Choose the right model for your church• Recognize success in your ministry• Fund the new ministry• Do community ministry in the small church
Building on extensive writing already done on missional church strategies and community ministry, this book is a good next read for pastors and church member alike who are ready to take specific steps to implement a community ministry strategy.
"What I love about 7 Creative Models for Community Ministry are the practical and flexible suggestions in every chapter. Ministry leaders need to purchase and read this bookand then, apply the helpful suggestions and practices in your context. And, for real transformation, use these practices as the strategies to share the Greatest Gift and to tell the Story That Changes Everything." Peter A. Meier, Executive Director, The Center for United States Missions, Irvine, CA
"Joy Skjegstad's 7 Creative Models for Community Ministry is a book I have put on my must-read list for all students and practitioners of the missional church movement. Skjegstad is an author who practices what she teaches! Throughout 7 Creative Models, Skjegstad combines field experience with theory, producing a valuable and practical resource for all churches seeking to reconnect with their community and its residents to identify real needs and mobilize resources for missional engagement. The wide variety and combination of models for community ministry presented in this volume make it an essential tool for new and established faith communities alike. This is resource I will highly recommend when training missional leaders, consulting churches, and leading seminars."Rev. Dr. Ron Carlson, Missional Church Strategist, American Baptist Home Missions Societies, and Visiting Professor of Missional Church Studies, Central Baptist Theological Seminary
"Every church considering missional involvement with their community should read this book. Packed full of practical advise, gleaned from years of ministry experience, the book raises important issues and offers a wide range of "common sense" solutions for churches encountering the joys and challenges of community engagement." Rev. Glynis LaBarre, Transformation Strategist, American Baptist Home Mission Societies
"With a firm belief in the church's 'unique position to make a real difference' and with 20+ years of experience in community ministry, Joy Skjegstad writes a comprehensive yet easy-to-follow guide for reestablishing the relationship between the local church and its host community. At a time when the church has a much quieter voice in the community, Skjegstad challenges the church to reclaim its voice. Built around 7 models for community ministry, she offers something for any congregation seeking to make a difference in their community. Filled with examples and helpful questions, Skjegstad's book is a handy resource for your congregation." Sam Brink, Minister of Church Resources, American Baptist Churches of Wisconsin
"7 Creative Models for Community Ministry by Joy Skjegstad is the best book that I have read on the subject. It is a must-read for churches who want to do more than meet, eat, and greet on Sundays. The how-to-do-ministry models by the rich diversity of ministry experts is priceless." J. Alfred Smith Sr., Distinguished Professor of Preaching and Church Ministries, American Baptist Seminary of the West and the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, California; Pastor Emeritus, Allen Temple Baptist Church, Oakland, California
"There are myriad books on nonprofit management, many on faith-based organizational development, a few on developing effective church-based community ministries, but none as comprehensive as Joy Skjegstad has written here. In this very accessible resource, she brings her extensive knowledge, first-hand experience, and passionate commitment to frontline ministry. Joy lifts up the potential and does not shy away from the challenges of doing community ministry. Congregations, large or small, seeking to make an impact in their communities will find answers to their questions and concerns as well as principles and practices that go a long way to transforming lives and communities." Michael A. Mata, Community Transformation Specialist, Compassion Creates Change, Inc.
"7 Creative Models for Community Ministry will help churches cross the bridge from vision to action. Following up on her long track record of practical, positive training resources for church and ministry leaders, Joy Skjegstad presents an array of choices that affirm each church's unique gifts, calling, and context. With its encouraging tone and abundant real-world advice, this book will help any church say yes to its community ministry dream." Heidi Unruh, Congregations, Community Outreach and Leadership Development Project, and Coauthor of Hope for Children in Poverty: Profiles and Possibilities
"Books are often called tools. But many of them don't work very well because they are written by theoreticians for theoreticians. Not so with this book. Joy Skjegstad has once again provided a tool that works for those on the ground, for church practitioners. Based on her own ministry experience, as well as on interviews with many church leaders around the country, Skjegstad offers practical ways in which congregations can engage their communities with the gospel. This is not just another resource; it is a tool in the best sense of the word for those who want to make a difference in the lives of the poor and the broken." Al Tizon, PhD, Associate Professor of Holistic Ministry, Palmer Theological Seminary of Eastern University; Author of Missional Preaching; Copresident-elect, Evangelicals for Social Action
"The denomination I am connected with has intentionally called on its churches to live out the call of our heritage to be people of compassion, mercy, and justice within their communities. As the call is heard, I am often asked, 'Where do we start?' I now have a tool to hand them. Joy's book speaks out of her extensive work with churches in community development. It gives a very practical outline on how a congregation can discern God's call for ministry beyond the church's four walls and have direction on how to fulfill that call, step by step. Thank you, Joy, for writing a book for such a time as this." Harold C. Spooner, President, Covenant Initiatives for Care, The Evangelical Covenant Church
Joy Skjegstad works with nonprofits and churches throughout the U.S. to help them achieve strategic focus, develop effective community ministry, and present themselves in clear and visionary language. In addition to Real Connections, she is the author of Seven Creative Models for Community Ministry (Judson Press, 2013), Winning Grants to Strengthen Your Ministry (Alban Institute 2007), and Starting A Nonprofit At Your Church (Alban Institute 2002). She has more than 30 years of experience starting and growing nonprofit organizations and church-based community ministry programs, including serving as the Executive Director of the Park Avenue Foundation at Park Avenue United Methodist Church and as the founder of the Institute for Ministry Leaders, a university-based training program that builds the management capacity of churches and other ministry organizations. She is wife to Brad, mom to Ethan and Julia, and lives in South Minneapolis, a diverse and resilient place full of strong women.
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