Traditional outreach in Christian culture is typically based on reaching out to people and attempting to get them to attend church or a special event. While such methods have historically had a certain amount of effectiveness, the Grand Rapids Dream Center combines effective traditional means with nontraditional means for a radically different dynamic in “reaching” people. The Bible says in Mark 16:15, “Go ‘INTO’ all the world and share the Gospel.” Our method is not focused on taking people out of their local environment to go to a different location but rather is based on literally meeting people where they at. Often times, when the phrase, “Meeting people where they are at” is mentioned, it can
mean in church culture, we accept you, come to us or in our church, just as you are. This is good, true, and needs to happen and we believe in this. But it is half true from the Dream Center perspective, because we aren’t only lovingly accepting you in life where you are or how you are living, but we are literally, physically, and geographically coming to your neighborhood to meet you where you are, where you live, and where you hang out. The result? A powerful level of comfort that enables the Dream Center to build relationships that wouldn’t happen if we were trying to make personal connections with individuals who were in a foreign environment.
In-reach is centered around three key components; knowing people, empowering them and weekly consistency. Our heart is first to just get to know individuals, families, and the community. Our heart first is to just get to know individuals, families, and the community. Through this process, we are able to know and understand a neighborhood and how we can empower the individuals, families, and community to truly make a difference. When people realize that the Dream Center may be able to
empower them in ways that they may really need, doors of opportunity are opened to further the relationship with people that would otherwise not be possible. The second is consistency in
our approach. By making a commitment that we will be in the neighborhood on a weekly basis, trust is developed as people see that the Dream Center is faithful in doing what we say we are
going to do and building a long term relationship.
It is through these three components that people are getting the help and empowerment they need, witnessing the love of Christ in action and receiving the gospel through opened hearts and
renewed minds that might otherwise have been forgotten. We also want to recognize that there are so many powerful ministries and churches in Grand Rapids that are doing a great job of reaching people and it is our desire to work with these organizations, as well as with individual volunteers, hand in hand
with as much collaboration and partnership as possible to meet the challenges and needs of our city.