Did you know that local churches around the globe - including your church - can take a leading role in ending AIDS? The local church is uniquely positioned in the community and called by God to offer compassion, care and real solutions to the sick and those affected by and infected with HIV&AIDS. Regardless of the location or size of your church, there are six simple things your church can do to make a difference.
The way your ministry decides to serve in those areas may look
unique to your church. If you are a church starting a brand new HIV ministry,
you may be wondering where to start. Here are some tips that we have found
helpful in the earliest stages of launching a ministry:
Tips for a new HIV Ministry – building your BASE:
community. A great place to start is simply by getting the word out in your
church and regularly (once a month) gathering together people who may already
have a heart for the sick or are impacted by HIV. In these early gatherings,
you can share the vision of the ministry, pray for the ministry together, and
educate your ministry and congregation about what HIV looks like in your
community and around the world.
2. Assess the
local needs & resources within our ministry. Based on who shows
interest and joins the gatherings, you will begin to see who God brings to your
ministry and what their skills and experiences are. The make up of your
ministry, combined with understanding the needs specific to your area, will
help determine the direction of our first serving opportunities.
small. A great way to begin serving is with “crawl steps” – serving opportunities
that require no money and very little training. These type of opportunities,
such as forming a team for an AIDS Walk or committing to pray together provide
simple, accessible ways for people to become familiar with the ministry and
develop a greater heart to serve long term. As your ministry grows, people can
be discipled towards greater levels of commitment.
relationship. It’s all about relationship, so the goal is to center your
ministry’s long-term focus on building relationship with people affected by and
infected with HIV. Serving the sick is not about giving “stuff” – it’s about
giving ourselves. In relationship we are able to build trust, meet needs, welcome
people into a church family, and help each person in our ministry grow closer
to Jesus. Depending on need and leadership availability, an early step for your
campus may involve setting up a regular support group for those affected and
These are just a handful of ideas as you step out and get
started. As you step out in faith with what God has given you, you’ll be amazed
with what God can do. We’re here to support you and coach your church through the
process! If you would like more information on how your church can consider
starting or growing your HIV ministry, email HIV@saddleback.com.