The number of people living in Sioux Falls who struggle with financial self-sufficiency is growing. Many enter a state of hopelessness, which increases the probability of poor decisions and negative behaviors. The impact of poverty and its effects is very visible in the public schools, where we now have more 51% of our elementary age children economically qualifying for the free or reduced lunch program.
At the same time Sioux Falls is blessed with many churches and nonprofits who offer a wide array of wonderful ministries to assist struggling people. Unfortunately, we in the church are too often are unaware of what others are doing (or not doing) to care for the least of these. We also struggle figuring out the ‘best way’ for our individual congregations to address these needs and do not often discuss/share ‘best practices’ for serving in our community.
Recently leaders in business and government asked the faith community to get engaged at an even deeper level (e.g. Sioux Falls Tomorrow 2014 report and the Hope Coalition.) In response, 22 congregations expressed a desire that we explore ways to increase our collective impact. SFConnect is being formed as a collaborative effort to enhance each church’s impact by improving the education, collaboration, and coordination of our congregations.
Vision (Desired End State)
People in poverty will receive hope through a tangible expression of God’s love.
Mission (What we are seeking to do to achieve our desired end state)
Significantly increase the impact of the churches of Sioux Falls by building relationships and serving as the hands and feet of Jesus in our city.
- We will be unconditional in who we serve and invitational only to Jesus Christ in why we serve;
- We will recognize and honor that the Christian churches of Sioux Falls possess their own individual culture and identity;
- We will encourage congregations to more actively partner with other like-minded congregations as we share God’s resources within the city of Sioux Falls;
- We will create a collaborative process to assist congregational leaders as they encourage and engage their congregants in community service; and
- We will utilize and strengthen existing Sioux Falls nonprofits wherever practical, while being open to exploring new strategies when unmet needs are identified.