The Empower Church Network
The Empower Church Network strives to bring local Christian churches together to significantly increase the impact of the Church in bringing hope to those in poverty. We desire to encourage Christians to make an even bigger impact in our community through enhanced education, collaboration, and coordination.
The Formation of The Church Network
The number of people living in Sioux Falls who struggle with financial self-sufficiency is growing. Many enter a state of hopelessness, which increases the probability of poor decisions and negative behaviors. The impact of poverty and its effects is very visible in the public schools, where 50% of our elementary age children economically qualify for the free or reduced lunch program (i.e. A proxy for the federally defined poverty line.).
At the same time, Sioux Falls is blessed with many churches and nonprofits who offer a wide array of wonderful ministries to assist struggling people. Unfortunately, in the church, we are too often not aware of what others are doing (or not doing) to care for the least of these. Many of us also struggle to determine the best way for our individual congregation to address these needs and do not spend much time discussing and sharing best practices for serving our community.
In 2014, leaders in business and government asked the faith community to get engaged at an even deeper level. In response, 22 congregational leaders met and expressed a desire that we explore ways to increase our collective impact. The Empower Church Network formed as a collaborative effort to enhance each church’s impact by improving the education, collaboration, and coordination of our congregations.
Our Guiding Principles
We will be unconditional in who we serve. Because of the teachings and invitation of Jesus Christ, we will:
Recognize and honor that the Christian churches of Sioux Falls possess their own individual culture and identity
Encourage congregations to actively partner/collaborate with other like-minded congregations as we share God’s resources within the city of Sioux Falls
Create a collaborative process to assist congregational leaders as they strive to encourage and engage their congregants in incarnational community development and service
Utilize and strengthen existing Sioux Falls nonprofits wherever practical, while being open to exploring new strategies when unmet needs are identified.
That people in poverty will experience hope through tangible expressions of God’s love.
To unite churches to serve as the hands and feet of Jesus in our city.