Chapter

The Churches and Their Ministries

Heidi Rolland Unruh and Ronald J. Sider

in Saving Souls, Serving Society

Published in print September 2005 | ISBN: 9780195161557
Published online October 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780199835836 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195161556.003.0002
 The Churches and Their Ministries

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This chapter introduces fifteen diverse Protestant churches noted for their community outreach, in the context of their Philadelphia religious ecology. The 237 programs sponsored by these case study churches are analyzed based on definitions of the key terms “social action” and “evangelism”. Social action includes four basic categories: relief services, personal development, community development, and systemic change. While individualistic, immediate aid tends to predominate over structural approaches to social problems, the amount and type of social ministry to emerge at a given church defies easy prediction. Among the churches studied, a strong emphasis on evangelism does not necessarily preclude involvement in social concerns.

Keywords: community outreach; Philadelphia; churches; social context; social action; evangelism; relief services; personal development; community development; systemic change

Chapter.  7617 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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