to Starfish Ministries
Our vision is to have communities where needs are met through long-term bonds between local churches and the people in their neighborhoods. Our mission is to empower churches to walk with people in poverty for their mutual growth. And, we seek to work with those in poverty through development ministries, individual and community, rather than relief ministries.
At present, our model of ministry is called Circles of Support and we have active ministries in two communities: Milaca (Mille Lacs County) and Inver Grove Heights (Dakota County). We are very interested in beginning ministries in other Twin Cities communities.
“… tend to provide temporary assists…” Examples are giving someone a ride, paying a bill, providing food, clothing or other “giveaways.” Generally these are “arms length” transactions, i.e., they don’t require a relationship with the person.
Individual Development Ministries
“…focus on measured changes (usually increases) in the knowledge, skills, abilities, or condition of the participants…” Examples are helping people reach their goals in the areas of finances, housing, employment, etc. Making such changes generally require that the volunteer develop a long-term relationship with the person.
Community Development Ministries
“involves listening to a community, determining the assets and resources within the community, casting a vision for a preferred future and developing programs and activities that meet felt needs within the community using community resources. The entire process should happen on the community’s initiative and with its active participation.”
[Quotes are from the Meeting Needs and Developing a Community Vision workbooks, published by Communities First, Grand Rapids, MI 2005.]