We exist to take the gospel to every neighborhood in America.
Over 327 million people live in America. According to a 2016 Barna study, 73% of people identify themselves as Christian, but only 31% are practicing their faith through regular church attendance, reading the Bible, and prayer. This means more than 225 million Americans are either post-Christian, or have never understood and believed the gospel.
TO EQUIP FOLLOWERS OF JESUS TO ENGAGE THEIR NEIGHBORHOODS AND COMMUNITIES WITH THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST.
Churches are declining, and those which do exhibit growth in numbers are largely growing from transfer growth, rather than new disciples coming to faith in Christ. Half of all churches in the U.S. did not add any new members to their ranks in the last two years. We believe this is because Christ-followers are not sharing the gospel. ATCM helps revitalize churches by equipping mature believers to engage unbelievers with the gospel where God has intentionally and strategically positioned them.
How did Around the Corner Ministries begin?
As a pastor/leader my heart has always been to see people come to receive Christ as their Savior and walk with Him the rest of their lives. Over the last 32 years of full time ministry, we have desired to make disciples of all the nations. Disciples making disciples! In 2015, on my first sabbatical ever in ministry, I stopped by my neighbor’s house to hang out, because I had time.
My neighbor said something to me that God used greatly in my life. He said “you never have time to talk.”
Now I had heard that before but the Holy Spirit let me know this was different. The thought came to mind that I would go to our church and preach Jesus but in my own neighborhood I was like an atheist. Before you quit your job, understand the Lord was moving us from our church to start Around the Corner Ministries, way before we even thought of the ministry name.
In March 2016, we finished the work the Lord had called us to 16 years earlier. It was such a fruitful work, that I did not want to leave but I was getting a new assignment. The new work had already begun in us. My wife and I started to see our neighborhood totally different. God brought to us such an awareness, that many of our neighbors, over 70%, were unbelievers. That is considered a pocket of lostness! We were living in a mission field and we didn’t even know it.
Acts 17:26 became so fresh to us. God had put us where we live for a greater purpose than enjoying our home. He had put us there for people who needed to hear about the gospel of Jesus. So we started praying that He would give us opportunities to talk to them about Jesus. Prayer walking is something we have done overseas and in the States. It is a great way to pray and listen to the Spirit’s promptings as you walk. As we prayer walked our neighborhood we started meeting other believers that we had not met before. We enlisted them to join with us in praying for all 100 homes that make up our neighborhood. In just a few weeks we had met three couples that were perfectly spread out throughout our neighborhood. So we divided up our neighborhood in four sections and each couple started praying for their section. In a short time all 100 homes were being prayed for by name.
That is how ATCM came about! After believing the Lord had placed us in our neighborhood to share the gospel and as we prayed and prayer walk, we were able to meet other believers and enlist them to join our mission. We started loving our neighbors by serving them through biblical good works, by asking the Lord for opportunities to do something for them that brought attention to Him. Our goal was to share with them our story of what Christ had done for us and to share the gospel with them.
Going Around the Corner is simple, practical and biblical and is what we are doing in our neighborhood. We exist to take the gospel to every neighborhood in America. Our prayer for you is this will bless you and inspire you and the people you influence with the possibilities of seeing neighborhoods and communities coming to know Christ like they did in the book of Acts!
- Todd & Sheila Alewine, and the ATCM Team