Lifebuilders Ministries journey began in January 2002 with just the desire of my heart to spend the rest of my Ministry life in areas where things seemed to be the most broken, conditions were the worst and try to give people hope. Over the next few years through a chain of events it seemed only the Lord could weave together we were able to build some most unique relationships with multihousing communities owned by the Housing Authority of Springfield and Private Sector Corporations. This resulted in them giving us carte blanche access to their properties to conduct Bible Study/Worship activities and whatever other acts of Charity and kindness that we thought necessary. Our ultimate goal was for the Biblical world view to become the prevailing influence in the community.We soon realized that these areas were economically poor, relationally broken, and spiritually destitute with many debilitating factors such as substance abuse, gang influence , at-risk children and teens, lack of proper male role models, promiscuity, etc. We also discovered that less than 3% of the resident population came out to church. In trying to find ways to reach them, consultations with experts on low-income cultures revealed that what they valued most in life as possessions were people or relationships, as opposed to things, which is usually the case with the middle and wealthy classes. This knowledge turned out to be a key factor in the strategy we would eventually develop to reach this culture. Another dilemma we faced was that as the current American culture now acknowledges “many” gods, how were we to influence them to believe that the Christian God was God (above any other god) when they’re not sure which god is God! We determined that the only way was through long-term presence and long-term relationship building that would graphically demonstrate the unconditional love of Christ…much like you’d do on a foreign mission field. Lifebuilders Ministries began by taking the Church directly to the properties meeting in whatever spaces that were available such as Community rooms, off-line apartments (given by landlords), resident’s apartments, even outdoors when weather permitted. From the beginning we used the dual approach of meeting physical and spiritual needs simultaneously. This approach, over time, yielded a rich harvest of dramatically changed lives, transformed communities, myriads of gospel seed sown in the lives of transient children, and a dramatic increase in on-site church attendance. But perhaps the most surprising phenomena of all was the change that occurred in the lives of our volunteers as they came out, not only to share the gospel of Christ with them, but in many personal ways, their own lives as well. Over time the Lifebuilders vision and fellow workers became the closestand most motivating relationships in their lives. They came to realize that in meeting the vital needs in these very broken communities, that the servers eventually became more blessed than those being served.
Current Ministry statistics:
Ten Multihousing Ministry/Church Plant Locations
250 average combined weekly attendance
100 weekly volunteers
30 monthly volunteers
100 summer volunteers
24% increase in church attendance