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5 Questions to Ask Before Starting a Justice Ministry

Going beyond starting a backpack program

In the wake of the social unrest of 2020, many churches wrestled with how they might respond to injustice in a tangible way. We commend the desire of churches that feel called to “stand for justice.” Such efforts are often an extension of their love and concern for their neighbors. But many pastors who reach out to us are unsure about the tangible steps needed to move forward. Many of the ideas are narrow in scope, often focusing on actions such as launching backpack programs and starting food pantries.

Those services can certainly have their place. However, I’d love to help churches to think beyond these standard “helps ministries” and consider the bigger picture of what’s happening in their communities before launching into something new. My hope is to empower churches to develop approaches that will bring lasting transformation through the power of the gospel.

Here are five critical questions for leadership teams to consider in developing a strategy to engage in “community outreach.”

1. What is the leadership’s vision?

The church’s leadership (for example, the elder team) must be clear about their overall ministry goal. Does the