What is God doing in the community and how do we help it grow?
Amplify seeks to take what God is already doing in the community and amplify it - bring more people to the table, more attention, more excitement.
Amplify makes connections between businesses, churches, and nonprofits that would not be likely to happen naturally without the work of our network. Amplify asks, “What is God doing in the community and how do we help it grow?”
Current Community Initiatives
Community Action House
Within the first year of operating, Community Action House’s Food Club & Opportunity Hub quickly identified the need to expand their hours. Their dignified approach to food access invites qualifying low-income residents to contribute at a level based on their income to invest in their family’s health and future. As of October 2022, at least 25 new members are signing up each week for this point-based grocery shopping experience. As a network of Christian leaders who follow the call to do justice and love mercy for all (Micah 6:8), Movement West Michigan is honored to help mobilize the Body of Christ into action to keep the Food Club accessible for low-income neighbors. In partnership with Community Action House, MWM is actively encouraging local faith communities to invest in the Food Club through adopting shifts, offering in-kind donations, or even sharing messaging about the power of collaborative food access. Together, we can ensure everyone in our community is given the gift of choice – both through affordable fresh vegetables and a dignified shopping experience.
Doors of Hope
Called to carry one another's burdens and love as the Lord has loved us, the Church is repeatedly invited to be good neighbors throughout scripture (Galatians 6:2; John 15:12). Community Teams provide local churches with training and a framework to intentionally live into this call. Through a partnership with Joy Anderson at Doors of Hope and interested congregations, MWM is building an address database of Jesus followers across the Holland/Zeeland area who are ready to serve as needs arise. After a family or individual in need of social support is identified through a church or Doors of Hope, MWM works with Anderson to put them in contact with 4 people from the Body of Christ who have a shared story, neighborhood or prior relationship. Each person on the “community team” is asked to commit to meeting 1-2 practical needs per month for the individual in crisis for at least 6 months. Community Teams are powerful tools for discipleship through genuine friendship across the entire local network of the Body of Christ.
Coming Soon: Collaborative Auto Repair Ministry
Previous Community Initiatives
Afghan Refugee Resettlement
From December 2021 to June 2022, at least 72 Afghan Refugees resettled in the Holland/Zeeland area. Movement West Michigan was instrumental in mobilizing collaborative church sponsorships to ensure each family was warmly welcomed. In partnership with Bethany Christian Services Refugee Resettlement Office in Grand Rapids, MWM helped facilitate local bi-monthly Friends of Refugee Check-ins for Afghan refugee co-sponsor volunteers from 17 Holland/Zeeland area churches. Creating this space for networking and support equipped co-sponsors with food, housing, medical care, transportation, and social gathering resources for our new Afghan neighbors. Even as the families moved towards autonomy, several new friendships with local Christians continued to flourish beyond the 6 month sponsorship season.
Pine Creek Elementary School Community Partnership
Movement West Michigan’s connection of local churches, businesses, and non-profits to the needs at Pine Creek Elementary School is one powerful demonstration of our network of Christian leaders in action. MWM partnered with MDHHS Pathway to Potential worker and partnership facilitator Eliza Perez to build community relationships. Using the model and support of Ottawa Community Schools Network, MWM invited representatives from local banks, churches, health care providers, and corporations to meet once a quarter to respond to Pine Creek’s school needs. Serving a student population where ⅔ of families are considered economically disadvantaged, Pine Creek staff quickly identified chronic absenteeism as a pressing concern. Thus, MWM worked with Perez to invite community partners to sponsor an attendance incentive month, support teachers with school supplies, or even volunteer for recess duty or one-on-one student reading support. Community Partnerships are based on the power of listening first. MWM believes when Christian leaders pause to respond to the felt needs of a public school, the entire community is one step closer to true flourishing.