The SERVE 6.8 website is designed to communicate the core vision and operation with clarity, simplicity, and thoroughness. The following Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) responses are intended to address questions that may arise from those who need a better understanding of this unique, church-supported Christian model of care giving.
These answers are designed in anticipation of some questions, possibly antagonistic, on the part of those who have a differing approach to care-giving. By this means, the SERVE 6.8 leadership team is prepared to answer these inquiries carefully and consistently. The objective of the FAQ responses:
- To offer to secular agencies in Northern Colorado an understanding of how SERVE 6.8 meets needs separate from, and with respect for, their efforts without competition.
- To offer to pastors and church leaders a fuller understanding, clarity, and reassurance of our high Christian principles in the effort to recruit new SERVE 6.8 Partners.
- To form a significant part of a manual to offer to other Christian care-providers that may want to leverage our approach in their communities and among their churches.
In our ministry, we offer both tangible and spiritual ministry as described on our website. Our “guests” may choose to accept or not accept what we offer. We are willing to provide help (1) as our guests show willingness to address their needs with us holistically, i.e., body, soul, and spirit, and (2) on the basis of our limited resources. We have limited resources that may require that we prioritize. Galatians 6:10 says, “So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.” We welcome inquirers regardless of whether or not they attend church. We are agents of our Lord to show His love and caring as much as possible to those who come through our doors. (Luke 19:10)
Our goal is to serve people in need. Prayerfully, we are open to each individual and family who comes seeking our help. Some people who initially seek help from us may choose to decline our help at some point in the process. Those who do not find that what we offer is what they desire will be treated with love and respect.
Some people may reject our Christian approach simply because we are Christians. Their previous bad experience with pushy, hypocritical, judgmental church-goers may have caused them to “profile” all Christians in the same negative terms. While that is sad, it is understandable and forgivable.
We will lovingly respect and release people to their own life-choices. If they change their minds, they are welcome to apply for help again. The door is always open to honest seekers.
People have the right to make their own choices regarding the services they seek from the multiple care-providers in this city to help them in a time of need. SERVE 6.8 has a clear Christian philosophy as to what we graciously offer and the manner in which we offer it. We offer “a cup of cold water” in the name of Jesus. Many folks that come to us are seeking assistance regarding physical needs, yet who have no interest in our ministry offering for their spiritual need. That’s okay. That is their right to select the way they prefer to receive assistance. We realize we cannot help everyone, in part because they may be unwilling to accept what we believe as essential to their ultimate well-being.
The neediest in our community do have alternative care-giving services in Fort Collins. That is why we so appreciate the other care-providers in our city to whom they may apply for assistance. We do not, nor will we ever, force our beliefs on an unwilling, unresponsive guest.
Let’s be clear: SERVE 6.8 is an unapologetically Christian organization, functioning under our biblical mandates. We offer services under the care of Christian ministers and ministries consistent with their core values.
If guests choose not to receive any spiritual service we offer, we are not offended. The ministry of SERVE 6.8 staff and supporting churches is all about “Him” and “them,” i.e., it is all about God the Seeker, and about the broken people whom He seeks. It is not about us. We serve willingly and humbly out of genuine love and obedience, as servants of God to others.
SERVE 6.8 is a religious organization with a mission, with compassion, yet with limited resources. Our service is freely offered within those limits, yet we are not a welfare program, and not to be viewed as an “entitlement.” We are not obligated to serve everyone. And we may decline to serve anyone. We offer service freely as time, personnel, and resources permit within the guidelines of our biblical mission.
No. God loves the whole world. He created all of us in His image, and for His pleasure. Although all of us have fallen, all of us are redeemable. John 3:16 is one of the most familiar passages of Scripture: "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” God offers salvation to everyone, yet not everyone receives that offer. We offer love, respect, and caring without discrimination, to allow each person to consider and seek God’s intended love, hope, and help for their lives. Therefore, we see the spiritual potential and value of every individual. We see them through the eyes of our God who created them in His own likeness, and for His glory. “God so loved the world!”
The SERVE 6.8 Resource Center is open to the community at large. Walk-ins are welcome. They are treated with love and respect.
Also, Serve 6.8 is an augmenting Resource Center for our many supporting churches. A list of the supporting churches can be reviewed on our website. Our care is provided within the context of our supporting Christian ministerial team of pastors and churches, as well as services provided by some Christian professionals who may volunteer their time and expertise.
As Christians, co-operating with our supporting churches, the staff of SERVE 6.8 offers what we believe to be the ultimate provision for the spiritual need of our guests through the Christian gospel. Jesus offers love, listening, understanding, forgiveness, peace, joy, acceptance, dignity, purpose, value, life, and respect – all founded on His gracious redemptive sacrifice of Himself on the cross.
Again, we are a resource to numerous Christian churches and pastors who share our vision and access our resources in offering spiritual as well as practical care. One of the most profound resources we have to offer to our guests is healthy church families into which hurting people can find acceptance, love, and encouragement. Healthy, supportive relationships provide a valuable context for holistic care-giving – body, soul, and spirit.
As a faith-based ministry of compassion, we operate out of resources that are provided by Christians and churches, without recourse to public funding. Therefore, we determine to operate in compassion ministries to the extent of the provisions we receive in answer to prayer and sacrificial giving of supporting Christians and churches. We cannot, nor is it our mission goal, to meet every need of every individual and family in our city. Our scope is defined by God’s provisions.
Government funding most often comes with government control. We pursue freedom to share the good news of salvation in Jesus. Government funding is likely to set limits on our expression of biblical truth in our serving context.
Our primary focus regarding homelessness is “prevention.” We will do what we can with what we’ve got. And what we can realistically provide is valuable, but limited. It is our hope, our objective, to keep a significant number of struggling individuals and families from “falling off the cliff” into homelessness. While this helps address the growing challenge of homelessness in Northern Colorado, Serve 6.8 does not have the resources necessary to provide housing for the homeless. We are not now, nor have we ever been a “homeless shelter.” We do not grant permission to anyone to camp on our private property. Since we are unable, or should our “guest” be unwilling to receive what help we can provide for other needs, we respect that, and direct them to other qualified agencies.
And so, regarding other care-giving agencies, we operate “in parallel with respect.” That means we respect and value other city, county, and non-profit organizations that desire to lay out plans to address homelessness. While we are appreciative and supportive of such efforts by others, we find it important to “stay on message” with our own biblical and philosophical approach to need-meeting.
No. We provide ecclesiastical and ministerial counselling. When there are issues that require professional care, we refer out. However, we may find at times that we can offer intake assessments from certified professionals who occasionally offer pro-bono legal guidance to a given family. Similarly, we may have access to professionals who offer financial, emotional, or spiritual counseling by some who wish to donate their time.
Specifically, we cannot take on the broad challenge of people on the street who have major psychological illnesses. We just can’t. Yet it is our desire to make a difference in the lives of as many people and families as is possible within our resources. We serve people and families one by one, as opportunity presents itself. We love people with the love of the Lord. And prayer is the most valuable service of all. We believe God answers prayer. He is the ultimate Care-giver.
We want the other care-givers in Fort Collins to know how much we value them. We are addressing many of the same compassion challenges of the disadvantaged they address. We are not in competition for government resources. While we, as faith-based ministries, are an active part of need mitigation for the neediest of our community, we see ourselves as operating in tandem with, and with respect for, the many other government-connected and private care-givers.
We must regretfully accept the status of the secularized culture of today. It is commonly required, even demanded, of faith-based Christian organizations which receive government funding that they must limit their ministries regarding the gospel of Jesus Christ. So, we must respectfully decline to apply for, receive, or partner officially with, other government-funded organizations that would set limits on our Christian profession and advocacy. Our biblical mandate is this: “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” Colossians 3:18
Our guests are welcome to come and explore what services we may be able to provide to help them take steps to address their current life struggle. Let us be clear: We do not do what is referred to as “toxic charity.” We do not support the lifestyle of a permanent “underclass” who wants to be given hand-outs while choosing to pursue a life pattern of indigence.
It is up to the guests. We will offer and release; we do not impose and control. Guests must be willing to take responsibility for the steps forward to reestablish their well-being. We want to help them take these steps.
Again, we can help. We will ask “How can we help you?” rather than just, “What can we give you?” We will sit down with our guests and explore with them through an intake assessment what they need. More than that, we want to help them discover what is the greater, deeper cause behind their presenting dysfunctional life issues. We want to help them take responsibility for their own pathway to self-sufficiency, safety and peace. Therefore, we will also share freely the truth of what the Gospel of Christ offers to them.
Please know this: We respect the dignity of all people, and offer to help them discover the tools and resources that can stabilize their life situation. And we are not the only place where their various needs may be met. Guests will be encouraged to explore the other care-giving resources in our city.
- To the Lord Jesus we serve and seek to represent accurately and faithfully.
- To our Board of Directors in the context of our 501(c)(3) status requirements.
- To our supporting churches and individual donors with open financial policies.
Serve 6.8 is a non-profit religious corporation, separate and distinct from the church in whose facility they are housed and operate. Serve 6.8 is independent of the host church, and operates under its own director, board, and published values.
While the host church is one of Serve 6.8’s many supporting churches, it also plays a supporting role as landlord to Serve 6.8 as defined by a lease agreement. Serve 6.8 is autonomous, and has its own separate mailing address, street entrance, and parking from that of the church.
Serve 6.8 now headquarters in the historic Outreach Center wing of Clearwater Church. This church was founded in 1892, and has operated its Outreach Ministry and Outreach Center for over three decades. To continue and enhance their vision to bring Christian ministry to the neediest in Northern Colorado, this church has leased its Outreach Center facility to Serve 6.8. The host church values this care-giving ministry as compatible with their own historic efforts, and like to think of this arrangement as “outsourcing the management” to the Serve 6.8 staff and their expanding programs.
Serve 6.8 and Christ Center, both being 501(c)(3) non-profit religious corporations, are independent and autonomous. Contractually, they are tethered by a lease agreement; as Christian organizations, however, they are "partners" in biblical mission. And so it is with each of the many other "partnering" churches, each of which is autonomous in ministry. Mike Walker, Director of Serve 6.8, is a licensed minister of Clearwater Church, a spiritual connection which unifies the theology and connects both organizations in terms of biblical philosophy and practices.
As the Bible directs all Christians and churches, Serve 6.8 operates within the boundaries of Federal Law (Romans 13:1-7). Yet since we are not an agent of the Federal Government, it is not our ministry practice to check the citizen status of our guests as a prerequisite of our giving them care. The love of God is available, and the kingdom of Christ is open, to every tongue, tribe, nation, and people. (Revelation 5:9)
Serve 6.8, being a non-profit religious corporation, serves with other supporting churches, but we do not abridge the right of conviction for other supporting churches, nor are we responsible for the choices of other religious organizations.
At Serve 6.8, we partner with other Bible-based churches in serving guests in a holistic way, “body, soul, and spirit.” The message of the gospel is that God offers grace and help to people who struggle in this broken world. We offer “the truth in love” (Ephesians 5:15), yet not imposing or pressuring our guests.
When moral questions arise, it is our intention, as much as possible, to refer guests back to the referring local church and pastor. As guests are willing to receive biblical counselling, this will be provided by Christian ministers, who may explore with guests any issues of biblical morality or address addictive patterns of thinking. Such counsel is not imposed. We do not condemn or pressure. Jesus was full of grace and truth; so are we. (John 1:14) Receiving God’s free grace is a guest’s personal choice.
We respect our guests. People are free to make up their own minds, and if our holistic approach is not what they desire, that’s okay. We will bless them and offer to direct them to other care-giving agencies that may be more in line with the way they would prefer to receive care.