An outstanding example of a church deeply committed to meeting the many needs of its community is Lawndale Community Church of Chicago’s inner city. Their statement of mission reads: “We seek to bring Christian holistic revitalization to the environment of the residents of the Lawndale community through economic empowerment, housing improvement, educational enrichment, quality affordable healthcare, and Christian discipleship.”
Few churches address issues like healthcare or housing in their statement of mission, but Lawndale does and focuses its energy accordingly. Springing from a church body of 15 people in 1978 they’re worshiping congregation now numbers hundreds, but even this belies the scope of their ministry in the community. Mondale health clinic, considered one of the best medical clinics in America for caring for the poor, was begun in 1984. Sixty staff members including 14 doctors work to meet the health-care needs of more than 40,000 people in the community. Nearly as many individuals work through the church in other ways to meet specific needs in the community.
Much of the church’s work in this regard is conducted through the Lawndale Christian Development Corporation of Chicago. They provide housing assistance, food, benevolence, and a gym ministry as just some of their outreaches. The church’s leaders recognize the importance of education, working redemptively within the Chicago Public School system through tutoring, computer classes, SAT and ACT preparation classes and other basic skills classes. Their college ministry seeks to assist people in entering college and building a support system to help them succeed and graduate—with the goal of raising up a new generation of black Christian leadership for the community.