Part of being the church is serving others in ways that help extend the Kingdom of God to all people.
Some of that work happens inside the walls of Grandview, as we train up our kids and youth, prepare worship services, care for those in our midst, and manage the day-to-day work of running the church. Some of it happens in our community, as we work with community partners to show the love of Jesus to the people of Johnson City—an effort that we call JCServe.
There are many ways to get involved with each of our JCServe partners, so we’ve listed a few below. For more information about how you can serve, contact our associate minister, Brandon Waite. Or, if you’re not sure where to serve, let us help you find your fit.
South Side Elementary School
South Side Elementary School is a K-4 public school, located behind Grandview in the historic tree streets area of Johnson City, that serves predominantly low-income families, with over 65% of the kids there taking part in free and reduced lunch programs. The challenges those kids from low-income families are carried with them into the classroom, meaning that a little extra love and care can go a long way toward helping them succeed academically, socially, and behaviorally. To that end, we’ve partnered with an organization called Kids Hope USA, who helped us establish a mentoring program for South Side’s at-risk kids, something the school’s administration said would be huge help for them.
Each mentor from Grandview is paired with just one South Side child to ensure that he/she receives individual attention, and together, they’ll meet for one hour every week for a whole year (or more, if things go well) at the school building, during the school day. And as they meet together, each mentor-child relationship is being prayed for by one prayer partner who has been tasked with praying especially for that pair.
This is the main way we serve the South Side community, and we’re always looking for people willing to go through the intensive screening and training process to serve as mentors, or who are willing to pray for one mentor-child match. Even if your schedule won’t allow you to mentor, consider serving as a prayer partner, and watch out for announcements about South Side’s events–we try to help them out with those, too!
ETSU International Student Ministry
Every year, an increasing number of students from other countries are choosing to study at East Tennessee State University. They often arrive in our community often without friends or connections here, and when they do, our friends at Christian Student Fellowship (affectionately called The Campus House) do their best to show them Christian love, welcome, and hospitality. They
We help with that in two major ways. First, we help with their Friday night World Café gatherings–the main point of entry into life in the CSF campus ministry. World Café is a relaxing time for students, a way for them to unwind at The Campus House after a long week of classes by spending time with one another, enjoying some snacks, and playing a few board games. People from Grandview are there, too. Getting to know the students, bringing snacks for them, and generally helping them feel welcome. It’s a simple way to say, “We’re glad you’re here.”
We also offer students an opportunity to be paired with a family from Grandview through a program we call Home Away from Home, a way of making sure they have at least one solid connection while they’re here. Home Away from Home families can help answer students adjust to life in the US, provide them with transportation, invite them into their homes for meals and holidays, and more. It’s a bigger commitment than helping with World Café, but the rewards can be great for the students, and for those who get the opportunity to know them better.
Appalachia Service Project
ASP works to make homes warmer, safer, and drier for people all over Appalachia. We partner with them through monthly work days, where Grandview folks head out to whichever remodeling or new construction site needs the most work, and dedicating a full day of labor to whatever projects need to be done. No construction experience is required, as ASP staff and other experienced volunteers are always on site to show you what to do.
Family Promise is an organization that gives homeless families shelter and food, while also providing them with job and life skills. The end result is that most families spend about 90 days in the program, then leave with stable a stable job and housing. During their time in the program, Grandview and other area churches help host and feed the families. Each church hosts for one week at a time, a few times each year. During those host weeks, there’s a lot of work to be done: setting up for the week, cooking and serving meals, transporting families to and from the Family Promise building downtown, spending time with the families in the evening, and serving as an overnight host at the church.
Then, as families leave the program to begin their new life, we offer them the opportunity to be paired with a Grandview mentor, someone who will help them continue to help them set set goals for themselves, encourage them as they continue in their new lifestyle, and share in their victories and defeats long after they’ve left the Family Promise host program.