City Partnership, Kingdom Focus

By Kinsey Minschke, Partnership Coordinator

Read more about what it looks like to come alongside a community’s vision.

The City of Joplin has an office in their government called Neighborhood Services. Most of their work focuses on code enforcement but they also have a huge heart for community development and making the neighborhoods of Joplin safer and a better place to be.

This office recently approached Next Step and discussed an opportunity with us. All throughout the year, city employees enforce codes in families homes that sometimes homeowners can’t afford to fix themselves. Neighborhood Services would like to make Next Step a partner in helping meet these needs that homeowners cannot meet themselves so that they don’t get fined. We are so excited that God has opened this door and we can’t wait to see what He is going to do through this opportunity. What’s so awesome is that a lot of the projects the city is going to send to us is within a 2 mile radius of Journey Church (our host church) so we get to continue working this into the 2in5 Initiative.

The 2in5 Initiative was started by Journey Church, with the goal to meet every house (and the family in that house) within a two-mile radius of the church in the next five years. As we meet them, we talk to them about what needs they are facing and how the church can partner with them. We are doing home repair, helping with resume writing, doctor’s appointments, and many other things. The fact that the city has recognized the work that is going on with Journey, the 2in5, and Next Step is huge and such a blessing from God.

Partnership like this can change a city. When faith-based organizations can work alongside city governments to meet needs, we reach people that would probably never step inside a church. We get to tell homeowners about the hope of Christ, which the city can’t do. We get to meet a whole new group of people we probably wouldn’t have met before, and that’s thanks to the city and their connections. Community development is about working together. No one organization can do it alone. The more that we cultivate partnerships, the more we can facilitate growth and change. It’s a beautiful picture of God’s Kingdom.