This is that time of year when youth pastors and ministry leaders start to plan their spring or summer mission trip and college seniors start to wonder about life after graduation. The program I oversee offers options for both of these groups. Our Discover program provides opportunities for groups of folks to serve and learn in the city for anywhere from a day to a week. Dwell, our year- long program, is geared towards young adults who want to spend a year living in community, serving in a local helping agency, and exploring what the call of God on their life might be. We are not the only people who offer these kinds of programs. One of the questions I get asked on a regular basis is simply, why DOOR? This is always an interesting question to try to respond to. I have friends that run similar programs and in the for-profit world they would be considered competitors. But in the ministry world we are “co-laborers.” Trash talking is not appropriate!
With this in mind, why DOOR? Here is my list:
- When you come to DOOR you support local jobs and benefits. We prioritize hiring local staff; we tend to shy away from “importing” leaders into our cities, believing that each of our locations already has the leadership necessary to run a successful program.
- When you choose DOOR you are intentionally favoring uniqueness in an increasingly generic “mission and service” market place. Each DOOR city is watched over by a local board comprised of folks who love their cities and want participants to have an honest, healthy, and safe experience.
- DOOR works to create safe spaces where everyone can share their faith journey and together we can come to a new and more enriched understanding of the kingdom of God. This is not always comfortable or easy, but the Christian faith is so much more than the boxes we try to fit it into.
- DOOR is a place where local pastors, ministry leaders, and artists are asked to speak into your experience while participating. Local voices add authenticity and realism to your time with us.
- The programmatic fees you pay are reinvested into the local community. We actively prioritize local suppliers, restaurants, and staff. All of this helps to keep your fees and fundraising dollars circulating in the local community longer thus helping to strengthen the financial stability of everyone.
- DOOR starts with the assumption that God is already in the city. This is an asset-based approach. When one approaches ministry and mission from an asset-based perspective the inherent dignity of everyone is preserved.
If you are considering or know someone who is leading a service/mission trip or wanting to spend a year living in an intentional Christian community please consider DOOR.