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Saving Souls, Serving SocietyUnderstanding the Faith Factor in Church-Based Social Ministry$
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Heidi Rolland Unruh and Ronald J. Sider

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195161557

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0195161556.001.0001

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The Churches and Their Ministries

The Churches and Their Ministries

Chapter:
(p.23) 2 The Churches and Their Ministries
Source:
Saving Souls, Serving Society
Author(s):

Heidi Rolland Unruh

Ronald J. Sider (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0195161556.003.0002

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

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