In Miracle Making Ministries, Sunday-school lessons, praise and other such church activities are moved from worship in the sanctuary to witness and work in the streets. We take nothing away from the act of worship: We simply see the role of believers in the world today much more broadly than most believers.
We try to accomplish this by creating opportunities for evangelical believers regardless of denomination or race to share their faith in a structured and safe manner in the streets. Our four projects offer several ways for volunteers to get involved.
The Paul and Timothy Project is the foundation upon which our other ministry efforts exist. The project provides training for church leadership and laity.
Just as Paul discipled, encouraged and prayed for Timothy, we seek to do the same for local pastors and their lay leadership. We can provide strategic planning, staff development and discipleship training. Our goal is to bring Christians to the point of knowing what they believe, why they believe it and how to explain what they believe with Scripture.
The Miriam and Ruth Project addresses the disintegration of the family. Since Miriam protected Moses from Pharaoh's death threat, we think believers are to protect children from teen parenthood, illiteracy, juvenile crime and violence, cocaine, alcohol and many other elements in our degenerate society.
We have acquired property on which we plan to build Family Resource Centers. At these centers we will be able to have after-school programs, day care, primary medical clinics, vocational training and other programs to help families become and remain healthy and productive.
The Nehemiah Project is our urban-revitalization effort. Because Nehemiah returned to Jerusalem to rebuild the city and re-establish the pre-eminence of the Word of God at its center, it is our goal to rebuild entire inner-city blocks. We want to provide people with an opportunity to own their homes and to have safe transitional homes for those who want to leave government assistance and government-subsidized housing.
These neighborhoods will include business and economic development, spiritual renewal and housing development. They will have everything that makes a neighborhood a healthy, wholesome, safe place to live and rear children.
The Apostles Project is our effort to bring the body of Christ together across racial lines. Our goal is not to integrate churches but to create a unified yet diverse body that can influence the community. Experience has taught us that getting racially mixed groups to worship together is at best difficult. We have learned, though, that it is easier to get a racially diverse group to paint a house, repair a car or mow a lawn. The world needs to see the Body of Christ, with its many tongues, people and nations, as unified.
While we may train pastors, protect at-risk groups, build complete communities and endorse racial harmony, our goal is to lead people to Jesus. Our ministry is called by God to address the social and human needs of modern man, with a view toward witnessing for Christ and following up with opportunities for discipleship, fellowship and friendship.
What does all that have to do with welfare reform? As president and founder of MMM Inc., I contend that in order for welfare reform to become reality, the church must get involved now. Sweat equity and a willingness of the "least of these" in the area, along with practical ministry, will go a long way in helping some to move from illiteracy to literacy, dependence to independence, welfare to work and, most important, from spiritual darkness into the light of the world.
The Rev. Robert L. Williams is the president and founder of Miracle Making Ministries.