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Church Engagement

Together, we’re joining God in his plan to bring lasting change to our world.

Luke Nelessen
Fox Valley Church Engagement Manager

Jodi Jewell 
Chippewa Valley Community Engagement Specialist


You long to serve your congregation well, to effectively call and mobilize them for mission and launch them into lives committed to the most vulnerable.

How can you inspire your congregants to ‘Be The Church’ seven days a week? To go out into all the world as disciples? And how do you, as a leader, follow your call to move your church?

These are questions many of us grapple with daily. And finding the answers can often be incredibly challenging.

But here’s the good news. We understand, and we can help.

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Empowering Local Churches

At World Relief Wisconsin, we’ve been partnering with churches across the state for over 12 years, helping them join in God’s plan to bring lasting change to our world.

Our passion is to create partnerships that support and empower local churches to serve immigrants and refugees in vulnerable situations.

In the the fall of 2022, Brian and Mary, and a small group from their church, volunteered to befriend an Afghan family. They had no idea what they were committing to, but felt called to serve their refugee neighbor.

What formed was deep friendship, and long-lasting change in all of their lives.

What is a Good Neighbor Team?


A Good Neighbor Team (GNT) is made up of a small group or individuals from the local church who commit to partnering as volunteers with World Relief to welcome a newly arrived refugee family, and walk alongside them during their first 6 months in the U.S. This is about so much more than "doing" for people - it's about taking the time to build a relationship, and welcoming well in the name of Jesus.

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The Results


We asked GNT members to complete a survey about their experience. What emerged confirmed our hope - that through building relationships with newcomers a mutual exchange occurs, changing not only our newcomers, but our local church bodies as well.

As the humanitarian arm of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), World Relief encourages thoughtful conversation around the topic of immigration. We encourage you to check out the NAE's immigration resources to continue to learn about this topic.

7 Reasons We Believe The Church Can Change The World

We believe that when the church is mobilized to achieve its full potential, it has the power to change our world. We believe this because:

1. The local church is God’s plan to reveal his mercy, compassion and truth to people around the world.
2. The local church is the largest social network on the planet and has the ability, authority and permanency to do far more than any government institution or non-profit organization could.
3. The local church is led by local, trusted community leaders — those with an inside voice and understanding that no outside organization can bring.
4. The local church has the influence and moral authority to shape behaviors rooted in biblical values of love, compassion and justice.
5. The local church offers the greatest hope of reconciliation between classes, tribes, ethnicities and political parties, unifying people under a common identity in Christ.
6. The local church can restore dignity and bring hope to the suffering, forgotten and marginalized by reaching out to the most vulnerable in its community and answering God’s call to love.
7. The local church is empowered by the Holy Spirit to do more than human wisdom and efforts could ever possibly accomplish alone.

"Church health can’t be defined by attendance or budgets alone. Rather, by how well our congregation is loving their neighbors and coming alongside the most vulnerable in our community and around the world. As a partner, World Relief has played an important role in equipping and mobilizing our church to step into the lives of the vulnerable both here and around the world."

– Nathan Nelson, Missions Pastor

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