Last year, The Nehemiah Foundation celebrated 25 years of serving Clark County and this year we were honored to receive the Community Impact Award by the Chamber of Greater Springfield. What an awesome legacy to continue! As we move forward, we continue to ask the questions that founded The Nehemiah Foundation: How can we take our city for God? What can we do together that we can’t do by ourselves?
Because of the ministry of The Nehemiah Foundation, there is a small army of faith-based nonprofits that are ministering daily to the least of these in our community. In many ways the original vision of the founders of The Nehemiah Foundation has been realized, and over the course of the last couple of years our Board of Directors have been seeking to answer the questions posed in the video. We’ve succeeded, now what? What is Nehemiah 2.0?
In order to answer these questions, we’ve had to look back on our strengths and what we feel God has used us to do over the last couple of decades. The primary thing The Nehemiah Foundation has done is to serve as a neutral convener which has brought people in this city together to pray and get on board with what God is already doing in our midst. Twenty years ago, that meant identifying, training, and resourcing leaders whom God had called to minister to the city. Today, we believe God is calling us to do a similar work alongside the Church and the city.
While we continue to support our faith-based nonprofit partners, our city’s local missionaries, we feel God calling us to help connect the Church to our surrounding communities in a way that will reverberate throughout our city. As you know, the needs we see around us are seem overwhelming – the culture of poverty that faces so many people in Clark county results in a lot of different types of brokenness – malnutrition, violence, human trafficking, the demise of the family structure, abuse, addiction, trauma, and more.
It can be disheartening to think of all the resources that would be needed to fix these problems, yet, when we consider the incredible number local churches, non-profit organizations, and city resources that exist it’s not hard to see that God has already provided for us in numerous ways. The problem is that we struggle to communicate with one another and work together so our collective impact is far less than it could be.
Our community needs a movement that unites and deploys as many partners as possible. This is what we feel God calling The Nehemiah Foundation to step into.
We recognize that we don’t have all of the answers, and we recognize that a vision this big will take time, but we have to start somewhere, so here’s what Nehemiah is doing in 2020 in hopes of catalyzing our community into strategic action:
- State of the City Report – We have been collecting research and conducting interviews with city influencers so we can produce a report this summer that will help our community to see the primary issues that we can come together to address so we might have a more strategic impact in our city.
- State of the City Event – One September 17th, we will host a city gathering at The Dome which will speak to the issues that rise to the surface through our State of the City Report and serve to both inform and inspire our community to work together to address these issues. Our hope is to build momentum around strategic ways that we can be move the needle on the biggest issues our city if facing. We want to see a movement begin to take shape as we hear from those who are on the forefront of making a difference and get people in the same room to begin talking about how we can form partnerships that will have a bigger impact for those in need.
- Online Community Platform – Lastly, we have invested in an online platform that will allow for enhanced communication and partnership in our community. In the midst of so many different modes of communication in our society our hope is that this tool will assist our community in getting on the same page. Although we are still working to improve and shape this platform, it will enable our community to go to one website to:
- Find upcoming events, trainings, service projects, or volunteer opportunities
- Share stories about good things happening in our city
- Find resources and/or individuals who care about similar things via discussion boards
- Connect with organizations or individuals in our city
- Watch teaching/training, informational videos
- COMING SOON: Coordinate activities via a community calendar
Up until now we have been working with organizations to build the site and put some initial tools and organizations on there. Now, we invite you to join the platform using the button below and following the steps to create a profile with your email address.
We hope that these tools – the State of the City Report, the Citywide Conference, and the Online Platform will each be used to help spark coordinated efforts and strategic thinking in our community regarding how we can work together for the good of all people.