1. Our congregation is small and has very little experience in community ministry. Can we still apply?
Answer: Yes. Congregational size or prior experience in community ministry have no impact on CMG program acceptance.
2. Our congregation already has a lot of experience with community ministry. If we are accepted into the program, are we still required to participate in the half-day overview and three days of education?
Answer: Full participation in the education portion of the program, including program overview, each class, and work with expert coaches is mandatory for consideration of a matching grant.
3. Our congregation is not surrounded by a neighborhood. Can we still participate?
Answer: Yes. You will need to identify a “community” for a ministry project. A community could be the local elementary school, hospital, or nursing home (or other “communities” within a reasonable geographic distance of your congregation.)
4. Can our community ministry be with a community outside the United States?
Answer: No. The community must be within reach of your congregation.
5. Is this program intended to assist us with evangelism?
Answer: “Community ministry” does not mean community evangelism. CMG is intended to help you create a new ministry project that will serve the needs of the community.
6. What do you mean by “new community ministry?” Our congregation already has a community ministry that we would like to build upon. Is this program suitable for us?
Answer: Yes and no. Yes, if the addition you want to make to your current community ministry is a new program altogether, AND if you are committed to participating in the three portions of the learning phase. For example, if you already have a youth tutoring community ministry and you would like to add a new program that focuses on parent education, you might be eligible for the program.
No, if you want to grow the project you already have established. For example, if you want to increase the number of youth you already have in your tutoring program.
7. Can we participate if we cannot organize a team of five people for the education sections?
Answer: You are required to organize a team of five people to participate in the three education days. The team needs to consist of the same five people each time. The learning is cumulative, each class building on the last.
8. How will we know the best people to ask to be on the teams?
Answer: We will offer team recruitment training at the half-day program overview session on June 8, 2016.
9. Are we required to apply for $30,000 of a matching grant? If we need less, can we still apply?
Answer: The CMG grant is for UP TO $30,000 of matching grant monies. You can apply for less.
10. Who is required to attend the half-day Program overview? What if our pastor is on vacation?
Answer: It is important for the lead clergy and one other key lay leader to attend the half day event. Some exceptions may be made with prior consultation with CFC staff.
11. What is the purpose of a coach? We have never used an outside coach before. How can will they help?
Answer: Expert coaches assist you as you work on the three primary tasks you will do between the education classes: congregational self-assessment, community listening, and putting together the new program. Coaches can help you stay on task. You can turn to the coaches when unanticipated issues or questions arise. The coaches are source of support and knowledge.
12. If we are accepted into the CMG program and our grant is approved, how long will we have to complete the work?
Answer: After approval of grant, you will have 12 months to implement your new community ministry. The new ministry may not be entirely launched at the end of 12 months, but grant funds will need to be spent during that time.