Below is a series of links for churches who wish to get involved in compassionate ministries within their community. We have links on a broad range of ministries, and it is our hope that your church will find help and guidance through these resources.
Note that many of these links go to outside websites not affiliated with the Church of the Nazarene.
Table of Contents
Counseling and Support Groups
Education & Training
English as a Second Language
Family and Parenting Resources
Food & Clothing Distribution
Immigration & Refugee Services
Advocacy & Justice
Pregnancy and Maternity Services
Prison & Reentry Services
Shelter & Housing
Services to Youth & Children
Addiction Recovery Ministy - A non-denominational recovery ministry focused on Scriptural truth about addiction.
Reformers Unanimous Recovery Programs - An addiction recovery program developed from over a decade of experience in working with addicts.
Celebrate Recovery - Popular recovery program materials from Saddleback Church, pastored by Rick Warren
Alcoholics Victorious - Founded in 1948, AV support groups offer a safe environment for recovering people who recognize Jesus Christ as their "Higher Power."
The National Association for Christian Recovery - Library, audio links, resources, and much more
Fuller Institute for Recovery Ministry - An institute to train, support and encourage pastors, missionaries, chaplains, and lay leaders who are actively engaged in recovery ministry.
Recovery From Abuse - A practical introduction for pastors and other religious professionals
Faith Partners - An organization to help faith communities establish substance-abuse recovery programs.
Addiction2recovery - Information, self-tests, and numerous resources.
Congregations and 12-step Recovery - Report by the Polic Center profiling two churches that started successful groups.
FCS Urban Ministries - A ministry based in Atlanta, with many resources to help other community development ministries.
Christian Community Development Association - The most well-known and fastest growing Christian community development group in the United States.
Church and Development - The Tearfund International Learning Zone (TILZ) has some very quality resources on the churches role in development.
Church-based Community Development - More resources from TILZ
The Role of the Church in Community Development - Several articles, including "Major Principles of Community Development", "Developing a Theology of Failure", and "Ministry to the Social and Physical Needs of Society."
Black Churches, Community and Development - A short summary of the long and rich history of the African-American church in community development
Review of Robert Lupton's Compassion, Justice, and the Christian Life: Rethinking Ministry to the Poor - Short summary of Lupton’s work, which mainly focuses on Christian community development vs. traditional hand-out based ministry.
The Eight Components of Christian Community Development - An essay on the important factors that go into community development
The Local Church as Primary Development Agent - Article by Danladi Musa describing a theory of the church as a development agent, and then providing a strategy to include all stakeholders.
Issues of Viability and Liability - Some potential risks to consider when starting a church counseling ministry
Ministry Tools: Christian Counseling - Some online training for starting a Christian counseling ministry
Ministry101: Counseling Programs that Work - Basic guide to elements of a church counseling program
Simple Tips for Starting a Lay Counseling Ministry - A helpful article largely from a legal perspective
Lay Counseling Within the Local Church - Lay counseling accomplishes many things: it involves members in the work of the church, it provides a fulfilling ministry for lay persons, and it takes a load off the pastor
Creating and Facilitating Peer Support Groups - Community Toolbox gives valuable information on beginning support groups in your community.
Rest Ministries: Chronic Illness and Pain Support Groups - Information on joining and starting HopeKeepers groups by Rest Ministries.
How to Start a Christian Support Group in Your Community - From Healing Hearts, a ministry for women
How to Start a Support Group - Written from a woman's ministries perspective, the guidelines are applicable for all support groups
Griefshare: Grief Recovery Support Groups - A very popular program for dealing with grief, with resources for the local church.
A Checklist of 36 Steps to Starting an Effective Support Group - Lisa Copen Shares her tips to create effective support group ministries
America's Literacy Directory - National directory for locating local education centers that deal with reading and writing, studying for the GED, GED test centers, ESL, and help with math.
National Center for Family Literacy - Resources and periodic conferences for educators, support groups, and families
The Official Site for the GED Tests - American Council on Education’s official GED Test website
GED Test Prep - Online self-assessment modules, covering all the major subjects. Simple, short, and useful.
GED Practice Test - Free online practice test
ED.gov: Office of Vocational and Adult Education - Programs related to adult education and literacy, career and technical education, and community colleges.
CareerOne Stop - Their training and education center provides career assessments, links to training programs, and funding resources.
Partners in Information Access for the Public Health Workforce - Information for continued training of those in the public health field
Grace Ministries -A network of United Methodist churches in Norther Virginia that work together to provide several ministries, including a job training program. One model among many.
Unemployment LifeLine - A guide to link workers to the resources in their area: from unemployment offices to veteran’s services to child care.
25 Reasons Why You're Not Getting the Job - careerbuilder.com’s list of the most common reasons people don’t get hired.
7 Secrets to Getting Your Next Job Using Social Media - “Between current economic conditions and the technological evolution of the Internet, the traditional approach most job seekers have taken in the past is no longer viable…”
Paths to New Jobs Can Start at Church - Article about a job ministry started by churches in Marietta, GA
God Help the Jobless: Churches are Helping the Victims of Recession - Large evangelical churches have responded to the recession with progams offering spiritual and professional help
How To Start an ESL Outreach Ministry at your Church - A guide written by Cort & Karen Miller of Central Church of the Nazarene in Shawnee, KS. This is the best and most useful resource for those interested in beginning a church ESL ministry.
Starting an ESL School at Your Church - Short list of advice from Presbyterian Church in America
ICCT Learnernotes: Planning for Success in Language Learning - From Wheaton ICCT, notes for those undertaking learning a new language; the information is very helpful for those teaching it as well.
ICCT: Preparing for an ESL/EFL Teaching Ministry - Discusses preparation required before teaching ESL.
Adult Education ESL Teachers Guide - Free online book about teaching ESL, including general orientation, beginning and intermediate lessons, and teaching ESL to non-literate adults.
ESL Resource Center - Resources & teaching ideas.
Free ESL Printables for Teachers - Flash cards, games, worksheets.
ESL Lesson Plans and Resources - A wide variety of links from California State U. - Northridge.
Real English - A site where everything is free and free-access. Excellent original video and thoughtful English lessons for students and teachers.
Dave's ESL Cafe - A kind of online clearinghouse for ESL teaching jobs, resources, and advice.
Tips on Teaching ESL Students to Write Well - From the U. of North Carolina writing department; mostly geared toward writing academic papers, but the pointers will apply to all non-native English writers.
English Games for Students and Teachers - A great site from ESL Partyland, that provides links to games and activities that will facilitate ESL for both students and teachers.
Developing a Family Ministry in Church - Four things families want: information, introduction, integration, inclusion. Also develops some family ministry models.
The Church and the Single Mom - Written by a single mom who serves other single mothers through a church ministry.
Single Parent Ministry Ideas - List of ways to reach out to single parents in your community.
Focus on the Family - Lots of information about the family here.
Developing a Family Ministry for Your Church - Importance of family ministries in a church; also biblical basis of family ministry.
Today's Christian Woman: Parenting - A valuable site by Christianity Today
Hope for Orphans - Adoption resources for churches and individuals
Empowered to Connect - Parents and prospective parents of adopted children will find lots of good information and resources here.
Heart of the Matter Seminars - Heart of the Matter has provided engaging educational experiences, specifically on at-risk children.
Cry of the Orphan - A website that focuses on orphans around the world and their needs.
Show Hope - Information about the medical needs of orphans, and other ways to care for the parentless.
I Care About Orphans - A Focus on the Family site on orphans and adoption
Christian Alliance for Orphans - The sponsors of Orphan Sunday
Heart Gallery of America - A photo gallery of children who are waiting for adoption
Kansas City District Orphan Initiative - The Kansas City District Orphan Initiative website contains numerous other resources for churches who want to minister to orphans.
Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University (for churches) - A very popular series on curtailing spending habits, keeping a budget, and getting out of debt.
Good $ense - Financial planning program from Willow Creek association
Crown Financial Ministries - Another popular Christian program to reduce financial stress.
Does Your Church Need a Benevolence Strategy? - Short article from Church Executive magazine, assessing how your church is meeting community financial needs.
Church Benevolence Policy - From Tony Cooke ministries, an article by CPA Richard Locke.
Sojourn Church: Benevolence Fund Policy & Procedures - A fairly comprehensive procedural manual for starting and operating a church benevolence fund.
Starting a Church Food Pantry: Guidelines for Success - From Community of Christ World Hunger Ministries, a practical guide.
News article about College Park Church of the Nazarene in Maryland - An expose in the Washington Post about a local Nazarene church that ran a successful food donation operation.
How to Begin a Clothes Closet Ministry - A short guide on clothes distribution ministries
How to Set Up & Organize a Church Clothing Distribution Center - From Passage Family Church, a template for advertising your clothing ministry on the website.
Get Health Care - From U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, health service locators, guides to health insurance, help affording health care.
The Health Care Debate, Early Church Style - "Early Christians focused on the sacredness of individuals, not demons, says historian Gary Ferngren." From Christianity Today.
What is Parish Nursing? - Two pages on the job of being a nurse for a congregation
Planning a Congregational Health Fair - Suggested schedule starting nine months ahead of time up to the day of the event. Very useful.
Health Fair: Wellness Fair Planning Guide - This is a guide to everything you would want to consider while planning for a wellness/health fair. Extremely comprehensive, long, and eminently practical.
Church Health Fairs Help Spot High Blood Pressure - Church fairs are great ways to get people from low-income immigrant communities into medical care.
HIV/AIDS Initiative - The HIV/AIDS initiative, a ministry of Saddleback Church
AIDS Artciles from Christianity Today - Categorized archive of CT articles from last 10 years; check out Missions and Ministry near the bottom of the page.
Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance - Global Christian effort to spread information about HIV/AIDS, including resources for churches.
World Council of Churches: Mission & Evangelism HIV/AIDS Resources - Biblical, theological, homiletic, ministerial resources for HIV/AIDS.
Nazarene Multicultural Ministries: Immigration Resources - Immigration resources and dialog from Multicultural Ministries
Working Together, Changing Lives - Interfaith Refugee and Immigration Ministries 2009 Annual Report.
Church Expands Its Mission to Immigration Advocacy - A NY Times acrticle about a pentecostal church in PA that began speaking out about anti-immigrant laws in the city.
Case Study: How God Started a Hispanic Ministry - A valuable article about reaching Hispanics in the community.
World Relief Church Partnership - Empowering the local church to partner with immigrant communities.
Church and Advocacy - Tearfund International Learning Zone (TILZ) presenting 4 articles on church advocacy.
Church World Service: Speaking Out In Partnership - Speaking out on issues of public policy, food security, water for all, HIV/AIDS, etc.
Faith in Action: Advocacy - Ideas for advocacy in your community
How to Begin a Community Pregnancy Care Ministry - The aspects of an effective crisis pregnancy ministry.
CareNet - National network of pregnancy centers.
Sheltering Church Handbook - A method of getting your church involved in the lives of women in crisis.
Components of a Childbirth Ministry - From Birthing Naturally, a Christian ministry that helps parents up to the pregnancy, and then ideas for ministry with the newborn.
Expectant Mother's Guide - Resource to help find local pregnancy and baby resources in various U.S. cities.
KidsHealth - Very popular website for children's health and development.
Coaltion for Improving Maternity Services - Some articles based on Mother-Friendly care.
Prison Fellowship - Influential prison ministry begun by Chuck Colson in 1976.
Angel Tree - Information on becoming an Angel Tree church, giving gifts to the children of the incarcerated.
Family Embraced - A ministry toolkit that equips churches to "respond to the unique needs of children, their incarcerated parents, as well as caregivers."
Re-entry Prison and Jail Ministry Resource Center - A directory of resource information to chaplains and jail minister who assist and disciple ex-offenders.
How to Start a Re-entry Ministry: Administrator's Online - Bulleted points on starting a ministry for the recently incarcerated.
Prison Ministry: The Possibilities of Grace - Resources from Outreach Magazine.
Prison & Ex-Offender Ministry Resources - Resources from Urban Ministry.org
Religion, Reform, Community: Examining the Idea of Church-based Prisoner Re-entry - Research study performed by the Urban Institute.
Billy Graham Institute for Prison Ministries - Encouraging and equipping the body of Christ for Prison Ministry
Interfaith Hospitality Network - IHN is a partnership of congregations within a community helping families who are facing homelessness.
National Coalition for the Homeless - "The National Coalition for the Homeless is a national network of people who are currently experiencing or who have experienced homelessness, activists and advocates, community-based and faith-based service providers, and others committed to a single mission. That mission, our common bond, is to end homelessness."
National Low Income Housing Coalition - Dedicated to achieving socially just public policy to help people with the lowest income have affordable and decent housing.
HUD.gov State Information - Links to all the state sites with information on affordable housing and government assistance.
Do You Really See Me?: A Lesson from the Homeless Ministry - Experiences serving the homeless.
How to Help Homeless People - Ten activities, provided by the Methodists in North Georgia.
Tutoring Programs at Church of the Covenant - An example webpage with information and advertisements for a church tutoring program.
NEA: Intersection of Church & State - Article by National Education Association on the recent partnerships between public school and churches to tutor school-aged children.
Mentoring Youth - Describes the mentoring relationships and its importance in youth development.
Find Youth Info - Connecting afterschool providers to Federal resources that support children and youth during out-of-school hours.