The Words of the Yakawich Family

Loving and Serving Your Community One Step at a Time - Breaking Through on the Grassroots

Mike Yakawich

In the spirit of church growth, witnessing and general outreach, I was inspired to submit this article.

After 20 years as a pastor in Montana, there are a few things I would be honored to share with you the reader. As the words of the Bible deeply inspire me, we must be a light to the world, salt of the earth and people of love. Father Moon's words that we "must knit the world together with the love of God" all echo in my heart of this vision of loving and serving our community. Truly, we are called to break through and substantially build God's kingdom on this earth.

We may struggle with quantity of membership. I think we all wish to grow the number of our congregation wherever we are. However, I have come to a conclusion that quality of membership and the work we do in our community far exceeds just the numbers. When we think of ourselves as peacemakers, ambassadors and kingdom builders, substantial accomplishment to me is the goal.

I wish to submit twelve points to consider in any grassroots ministry.

1. Reflect, refine and align your purpose, goals and vision. The foundation of growth must reside in you (and your spouse / family). What are your talents, your skills, your abilities, your passions and your limitations?

a. So I seek courage, inspiration and power to lead?
b. Am I aligned with my pastor, State Leader, District Director, HQ and etc?
c. My goals and vision are to build my church / ministry/movement?
d. My talents and qualities are...

2. Form a team, take care of that team and work together. Your spouse and family would be your immediate team. It is vital to nurture and nourish this life line. Along the way, is the Board, your membership and / or those whom you work with being taken care of? Be clear and organize, stet up a structure and means of harmony.

a. Work on your marriage and parenting skills and the Four Realms of Heart.
b. Form committees, advisory groups and work with them.
|c. Be financially responsible and organized.
d. Make your alignment based on your relationship with our Heavenly Parent.

3. Plant roots deep, and invest. As the popular term goes, "Think globally and act locally." We should not create "fly by night" ministries. We must be willing and able to roll up our sleeves and work with courage and consistency.

a. Take care of your property, facility and grounds.
b. Take ownership of your community.
c. Fight for what is right and be committed for the long term.
d. Develop a network.
e. Develop your center, your facility, your HQ to work from.

4. There are many models but simply put... "Do something". You will learn as you go. Visit people, survey and seek opinions, find advisors and listen. The church and the community have needs. Discover those needs and address them with the tools you have or need to gain.

a. Walk in your neighborhood and introduce yourself to others.
b. Share your faith with those people who live around your home.
c. Have confidence that you are an asset to your community.
d. Go to other people and organizations to find out what they need and think.

5. Volunteer! There are many people and organizations longing for your talents. Volunteer in your youth's school, other churches, and other organizations. Look around and ask were you can fit in and genuinely help out.

a. Join the local community or neighborhood taskforce.
b. Donate blood, do a recycling or food or clothing drives.
c. Look into United Way, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Boys and Girls Clubs, to offer help.
d. Work at a local mission, family center.

6. Learn from those out in the community! Work with the media and discover they are your friends and not your enemy. Learn about the media and discover ways to promote your ministry. Go back to school to develop more life skills. Read and learn from others.

a. Go to the Bible Book Store, research, study and browse.
b. Talk with others, introduce yourself.
c. Write for the local paper, submit articles keep them informed.
d. Form your own TV or radio ministry.
e. Seek out what other media possibilities are there.
f. Learn what is going on in your city.

7. Develop your community outreach. Patiently work on your church. Likewise, take care of your community and the needs of it. Seek out way where you can offer help and even advice. You must first give and serve before others will seek your advise. You must develop your foundation.

a. Invest in your church programs and campaigns.
b. Develop your own programs and projects as needed.
c. Be creative and courageous in addressing social injustice or social needs.
d. Create your own foundation of service and contribute to the community.
e. Develop anti-drug programs or other civic needed projects.
f. Teach couples classes for people in your community.
g. Provide a musical ministry to the local rest homes.
h. Strive to be professional as you keep the heart and spirit of Lord Jesus and True Parents.

8. Invite! Ask people to come to your programs and projects. Build up a friendship than is not just campaign based. Build credibility.

a. Do not be shy, visit people even without an excuse!
b. Report to them and let them know what you are doing.
c. They cannot read your minds, invite them again and again.
d. Be patient and embracing for they cannot come to every event.
e. Always have a card to identify who you are and share it with others.

9. Be flexible, expand and consolidate as need. Never give up.

a. The sky is the limit
b. Sometimes you need to go forward and sometimes retreat.
c. Follow-up, keep in contact with others, your parents, family and friends as well.
d. Stay connected and aligned report and reflect.

10. Join Boards and become not just a volunteer but a leader among the organization by humbly serving.

a. Learn and develop skills in "Roberts Rules" and other management skills. Especially as you build your credibility and skills, you will be asked to participate in other groups.
b. Be fiscally responsible and strive to understand and glean better professional skills.
c. Organizations have boards that look for members.
d. Suicide Prevention Coalition, Black Heritage Association or Neighborhood Taskforce are other examples.

11. Be Headwing! Visit all political leaders and be genuine. Invite them to your programs and ask them sincerely for their advice. They are public officials that desire and deserve honor and respect.

a. I am nether Republican, Democrat nor Independent.
b. Work with all parties and seek out their leadership.
c. Respect these leaders for they are very dedicated to their community.
d. Seek their advice and counsel.
e. Visit the Mayor, Chief of Police, City Council, legislators, Governor and other public officials.
f. Seek ways how you can serve in such a capacity.

12. Become a true peacemaker, build, expand and become a real and tangible ambassador and kingdom builder in your community. They will know you by your fruit. Reaching this level offers much inspiration to you and your family.

a. Strive for and achieve credibility.
b. Become a true leader in the community.
c. People will come to you for advice.
d. You are respected and acknowledged as a leader.
e. You are a great asset and never give up!

In conclusion, we have the world at our finger tips. What is presented here is not the all-in-all. You can discover more and add to this.

Nevertheless, we have the vision and tools at our footsteps/fingertips. The amazing thing too is that this is where we gain the greatest inspiration and feel the Holy Spirit deep in our bone marrow. This means working in the community, search, seeking, developing our ministry substantially with courage and credibility. When we are investing and substantially building a better community, we will find the greatest motivation and zest for life, the most encouraging words and the clearest alignment with Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus, our True Parents and True Family. 

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