Friendship Evangelism Continues Strong Amidst COVID-19 Restrictions
Montana's Bozeman Church is building up their community through friendship and service. By partnering with Love INC (In the Name of Christ), a ministry that works with local churches to meet people's needs, the Bozeman members are building relationships with neighbors and helping them to make practical improvements in their lives.
Pastor Jim and his wife Sandy love engaging members in outreach ministries. Both Jim and Sandy Jenkins have served in Love INC in various capacities through the years. Sandy serves at the church mobilizer and meets with Love INC staff every other month to discuss needs and coordinate projects.
One of the big events held each year is a fundraiser called Plant the Seed. Love INC also offers Change Your Life classes throughout the year, each for 10–13 weeks. The three classes currently offered are "Faith and Finances," "Resolving Everyday Conflict" and "Love Your Kitchen."
The Bozeman Church has hosted some of these classes for the last four years. Love INC provides the curriculum and class leaders, and the church provides the facility and recruits volunteers. Service opportunities for each class include being an ally, a greeter, a meal caterer and a child care provider. Sandy states that, as allies befriend their class attendee, they become a support person the attendees can rely on as they go through the program and trust is built.
In the past, Sandy has had a lot of community help. This year, due to COVID-19 restrictions, meals had to be bought instead of prepared at home, so she didn’t have as many volunteers in this area. By the grace of God and thanks to community members as well as both Bozeman and Mount Ellis Academy church members, all 13 weeks had a bountiful meal. If you are looking for other service opportunities, Love INC also offers Gap Ministries, through which one can help meet various needs such as quilting, grocery shopping, stocking their food and linen pantries, holding car clinics and more.
As I ended my interview with Sandy, Romans 15:2 came to mind: “Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.” I am so honored to have leadership in our church that is always encouraging us and inspiring us to build others up and to share Christ’s love through continuous service.