(One of the questions we had asked Rev. Christine Smith to address in these blog posts was, “Why and how are you communicating about the work of the ministry with your congregation?” Sometimes a church will launch a ministry and then assume everyone knows what’s going on; they forget to keep the congregation engaged in the process. When this occurs, the result can be that it becomes just a small handful of people carrying the ministry on. Communication is crucial to the success of a ministry, so we asked Rev. Smith to talk to us about COTAAN’s experience in this area.)
COTAAN is still in the infancy stages. Honestly, COTAAN will help our church to clearly understand the “doing” of ministry. Other than raising money to send to overseas missions or missionaries, and doing nursing home visitations or assisting in a soup kitchen on Thanksgiving, my congregation (unfortunately) did not have a history of hands on, community, “in-your-face” ministry. For some, “ministry over there”–in other words, when money is sent off to people we probably will never have to touch, see, or feel, except in pictures–for some that has been more comfortable. For me, it is a social justice issue. Jesus wants us to “do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God,” (Micah 6:8)
As we launch COTAAN, our congregation will be invited to participate in various ways: assisting with Bible study, building maintenance, moral support, and so forth. There are so many points of intersection for people of a variety of skills and availability. A few of our members will sit on the board and one of our associate ministers will serve as the director. COTAAN is a wonderful opportunity for our congregation to learn how to minister in tangible ways to the hurting, struggling, and renewing in our midst.
The COTAAN blog posts are contributed by Rev. Christine A. Smith, pastor of Covenant Baptist Church in Wickliffe, OH, www.covenantbaptistwickliffe.com. Stay tuned for more on this story!
COTAAN is a grant project of AB Women’s Ministries. For more information about COTAAN , including how you could help support this ministry, click here.