Community Engagement is the lifelong calling of every Jesus follower. As we love our community and start to live life with people and make disciples, this creates pockets of the kingdom of God coming to earth. All throughout the Bible, God tells us to love the oppressed: the orphan, widow, refugee, and the poor. The marginalized in society are largely forgotten about and neglected in the world's eyes, but God has not forgotten about them (Leviticus 19:9-10, 33-34; Deuteronomy 15:7; 24:17-21, 27:19; Psalm 68:5; 146; Proverbs 31:8-9; Isaiah 1:17; 10:1-2; 25:4; 58:6-7; 61:1; Jeremiah 5:28; 7:5-7; 22:3, 16; Zechariah 7:10; Matthew 25:31-46; Luke 4:18). He is already moving in our communities and so our responsibility is to join in wherever the Spirit of God is moving and bring shalom into our communities. Below are some ministries that Forest Baptist Church has decided to embrace as to where God is moving in the Newburg community. 

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COFFEE English Class (ESL)

There are hundreds of internationals in our community and many are struggling with survival English skills, such as shopping at the grocery store or going to the doctor’s office. This weekly program teaches them English so they can progress in their language skills as well as adjust better to the American culture. Each week there is a short Bible study that progresses from Creation through Redemption, telling them the most important story and the motivation for our love. The hope is that the English Class creates an avenue for volunteers to live life with these families and build lasting friendships with them. 

Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA)

Church members teach messages that challenge student athletes about how to live for God and honor Him in their sport. The messages are 10-15 minutes and provide opportunities for conversation with the students.

Tutoring at Newburg Middle School / Mentoring Families

Forest Baptist Church has created a partnership with the administration at Newburg Middle School. This is an opportunity where church members will be able to mentor students during the school hours. One example of mentorship is with the international student population: there are around 125 middle school international students and only 3 ESL teachers. One of the teachers said it is a fight to get them to read past a 3rd grade reading level. Whether the tutor has an hour or a few hours each week, they will see the same students and build lasting friendships. The tutor can meet the students during school hours or meet the family in the home.

Job One at Forest Baptist Church

At Forest Baptist Church, we are partnering with an organization called Job One. We offer quarterly job success trainings to help equip people to find jobs and then if desired, pair them up with a mentor to be their advocate and walk alongside the job seeker. We also have hosted a job fair in addition to the job success training class. This link will take you to a Spectrum News Interview about Job One:

Community Picnics

A couple of times each year we will have community picnics to meet new people who live in the community. Food is a great way to bond with strangers and hopefully initiates the start of deep friendships. We see in the life of Jesus that food is a huge part of His ministry and see Jesus' willingness to eat with anyone. As Jesus followers, this will shape our perspective to love our neighbors and eat meals together. In the photo album below, there are pictures from these community picnics. 

Host Live the Gospel Church

The pastors of Live the Gospel Church approached us in 2022 about partnering together for the purposes of kingdom ministry, where we can host them in our church building so that they can have their church services in the afternoons. Now, they worship in our church building each Sunday and it has created opportunities to do ministry together to better reach the nations around us. We are so excited for what is to come as we continue to build our partnership for glory of God.

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