For nearly two decades, the vision of Mission Columbus has been to see the Church in Columbus more engaged in addressing the issues and challenges impacting our city. However, because of the historic reticence towards collaborative work between many faith-based and secular organizations, the role and practice of faith are not always recognized as a viable resource in addressing many of those issues and challenges.
We know that there are many churches and faith-based nonprofit organizations engaged in efforts to address community issues, however for both philosophical and theological reasons they often do so independently. We believe that the primary reasons for this are 1) they do not recognize the value of collaboration across religious or ideological lines…and 2) they lack the fiscal and organizational capacity for the sustained engagement necessary to make a significant community-wide impact.
Ten years ago we began developing Mission Columbus to be a resource to the city of Columbus, by concentrating our efforts on building the capacity of Christian churches and faith-based nonprofit organizations. In 2011 Mission Columbus launched the Ohio Increase Project (OIP) to provide fiscal and organizational capacity building training for faith community-based nonprofits. To date over 140 organizations have begun receiving that training, which includes matching development grants, based on the accomplishment of organizational development milestones.
To complement this fiscal and organizational capacity building training, in 2012 we began developing Whole Life – Whole Community a holistic community development resource that provides high-quality capacity building training and consulting for indigenous community leaders and stakeholders. This training, based on the Mission Columbus Holistic Community Development Model, will help them to develop a holistic community development plan that works to build collaboration between faith and community-based nonprofits, the business community and state, local and federal government to develop and deliver holistic community-based programs and services that create life improvement opportunities and facilitate personal growth and development for people in communities throughout Central Ohio.
We believe that the Christian Church (and the broader faith community) has both a mission and mandate to encourage and nurture the role of faith as a resource in a holistic approach to addressing the needs and challenges of our city. And we believe our work is to engage and equip the church to that end.