What We Do
As we talk with urban ministry practitioners and those involved in urban missions and ask them what they need more than anything else, the answer is almost always the same… people! For many working among the poor and marginalized in our nation, the harvest is plentiful and the workers are few. As a result, one of our primary goals is mobilization. We have opportunities for short term missions groups as well as individuals to be mobilized to serve and share the love of Christ with some of the most vulnerable and marginalized people in the United States. For more information on how you or your group can get involved, click here!
Kaleo staff serve in each of our cities on a year-round basis. In addition to hosting our urban short term mission trips and our interns, they also serve their community in direct ways. Since each of our cities is different and the passions and giftings of our staff are varied, the particular ministry of each Kaleo team is unique. However, in each ministry our staff is involved with, our values drive what we do and how we serve.
Racism, systemic poverty, homelessness, immigration, refugee crisis, working poor, slavery, trafficking. These are all issues facing our world today. How does the church respond? How do Christians respond? Kaleo desires to help Christians answer these questions. We desire to help the church not only be aware of these issues, but also to think about how we should engage in the world around us. As a result, on our Urban Immersion short term mission trips, we spend intentional time in learning activities where we learn to look at issues facing our world and our cities today through the lens of the Gospel.
At the core, we believe that issues such as poverty, homelessness, oppression and racism are all ultimately a result of the brokenness and sin in our world, beginning with our broken relationship with God. As a result, we believe that it is only through Christ that brokenness in our world and in our lives personally can be restored. As a result, as we serve the vulnerable and marginalized, the core truth that we operate on is that each of our lives need to be transformed by the Gospel of Christ.
“None of the foundational relationships can experience fundamental and lasting change without a person becoming a new creature in Christ Jesus…we cannot hope for the transformation of people without the involvement of the local church and the verbal proclamation of the gospel that has been entrusted to it.” – Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert, When Helping Hurts
Our world is becoming more urban. By 2050, it is estimated that 70 percent of the world’s population will live in cities. Additionally, with the combined aspects of diversity and density, cities are often home to many of the world’s most poor, vulnerable and marginalized. As a result, while we strive to serve and mobilize the church to care for the vulnerable and marginalized, our primary context is the city. However, while the context of our specific ministry is in the city, we desire to equip the church to care for the most vulnerable wherever they live and serve.
The power of partnership is amazing to accomplish great things. Each individual person, organization, and church has unique passions, skills and giftings, and when you combine these giftings and passions, amazing things can be done. Our goal is to partner with churches, individuals, ministries and other organizations for the sake of most effectively carrying out our mission to care for the vulnerable and marginalized in the urban areas of the United States.
“Development is not done to people or for people but with people. The key dynamic…is promoting an empowering process….” – Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert, When Helping Hurts
One of our key values is to ensure that in everything we do, we are coming alongside of people in need, and helping them be empowered to take charge of the development in their community. We desire to assist where appropriate, but always take the lead from churches, organizations and individuals who are deep in the process of long-term relational ministry in a community. This is particularly true on our short term mission trips. Our goal is to allow the hosting ministries to be the primary deciders on what should or should not be done.
We believe that as individuals, created in God’s image, God is concerned with the whole person, both the spiritual and physical. As a result, as we pursue opportunities to meet physical needs of people in the community, we develop relationships with local churches to provide ongoing spiritual resources as well. We recognize the local church as God’s primary way to care for people spiritually.
When you look at the story of Scripture, it becomes very clear that God normally works through relationships to bring about transformation and growth through power of the Holy Spirit. You don’t have to look any further than Jesus and his disciples. Jesus spent three years of intense relational time with his followers. They ate together, traveled together, had shared experiences and throughout that time, the disciples’ lives were being transformed by Christ. Not only that, but it is in the context of relationships where the Gospel is most clearly displayed. In every opportunity we have to serve, our goal is always to establish a relationship where we can truly know the other person and allow ourselves to be known in return.