The authors discuss the Family Leadership Initiative, a collaboratively designed program to strengthen families and improve children's education in Grand Rapids, Mich. Monthly meetings were held for parents and children that included bonding time, parent education and homework support for students, and time for ministry. Initial evaluation shows high levels of satisfaction, with students reporting some academic improvements. In addition, the program provided a rare opportunity for congregations to collaborate with each other. Future success depends on whether modifications to the program strike a delicate balance that nurtures sustainability, collaboration, and responsiveness.
Mulder, Mark T.; Napp, Kristen; Carlson, Neil E.; and Ingraffia, Zig, "The role of the congregation in community service: A philanthropic case study" (2012). University Faculty Publications and Creative Works. 422.