Each summer we have youth volunteer groups travel from all over the country to work with us and I recently had the opportunity to visit one of these groups at their home in Glendora, California. This group worked with us for the first time last summer and decided they wanted to come back to Birmingham and learn more. In order for us to best serve them, I needed to go and see their community and church so that we would be able to speak directly to their students and leaders in a way that brings what they are learning here in Birmingham back to their home. We love going deeper with groups and investing in them. This summer we will host groups from all over the country, as we have done the last nine years, and we see this as a great opportunity to build relationships and transform communities all over. Our desire is to share with these groups our values, principles, and a Biblical understanding of how communities change with the power of the Gospel.

Summer at CSM is a busy season and these groups strategically serve the community through and with our local churches. We do this because the church is the body of believers we are seeking to ultimately serve with resources to meet the holistic needs of the community. When the groups leave, who is there? When CSM leaves, who is left there to care for the needs? It is the local church. The local church is our sweet spot to engage people and the community for change. Matthew 16:18 says, “upon this rock, I will build my church” and we are lining up with the local church to fulfill our vision for community transformation leading to one church.

When CSM leaves, who is left there to care for the needs? It is the local church. The local church is our sweet spot to engage people and the community for change.

This summer we will mobilize over 20 groups of students and adults to serve Birmingham communities with the hands of Christ, with the word of God, alongside the local communities of faith. We hope the results will be greater awareness of the heart of God, a deeper relationship with God, and the desire to see all walk in the oneness of God. Our daily teachings will come from Ephesians: being one body, one blood, one spirit, and one humanity. We want to glorify the Lord in everything our hands’ touch, with everybody with whom we speak, and we want to treat all people through the eyes of Biblical justice and righteousness.  We are more focused than ever to impact groups and churches to make a difference. Matthew 28:19-20 says, “as you go make disciples” and this is what we do at CSM.

Please join me in praying for our groups and the work that is to be done in our city this summer.

Tracy Hipps

Executive Director