For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.

Romans 12:4-5
Parakaleo 1

Dear friends, The twelfth chapter of the epistle to the Romans begins with a plea “by the mercies of God”, we are ‘urged’, ‘appealed to’, and ‘beseeched’, depending on what translation you are reading, to be a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God. These words translated from the word Parakaleo mean to draw alongside, comfort, exhort and strengthen.

We at 4Tucson believe we are all called to fulfill Parakaleo with each of the non-profits we work with. Jesus left us with the message to ‘love one another,’ and that takes on a different meaning depending on what gift we are exercising. We have over 3000 non-profit organizations in Tucson. As the scripture speaks about each of us being a member of the body of Christ, these non-profits are also members of that body and are meant to function within the body.

Each organization chooses an area where they believe they will be able to effect change and/or ease the suffering in a community. The expertise, wisdom, and passion that each group brings to fulfill their desired purpose in the community are essential to creating Godly outcomes.These groups universally face three distinct challenges while trying to effect change.

The first challenge each mission group must face is what type of financial and other resources are needed and how they will meet that need. Secondly, volunteer recruitment and retention are necessary to achieve desired outcomes and maintain the sustainability of the focus area targeted by each group. Finally, compliance is a fundamental exercise that all non-profits must follow and keep updated daily.

These three areas are essential for each non-profit to stay viable and adhere to the legal requirements to stay in existence.As the Social Service Domain Director, I want to help every non-profit to navigate these issues with all the resources available to us at 4Tucson. In the coming weeks, I intend to post opportunities for us to join together in fellowship, in area specific trainings, and in joint ventures where we can show how the body of Christ working together in unity can affect lasting change in our city.

The success of each ministry is a victory for all ministries because God receives the Glory and our desire to bless the ‘least of these’ is the whole bodies desire. This leads me to a wonderful quote I read:

Christians should endeavor to be known as people who will stand in the gap for vulnerable people, loving them for the long term, and committing to the flourishing of the people in our local neighborhoods.

Chelsea Patterson Sobolik

May God bless each of you and may we do all things for his Glory.

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