By SAMEUL BOLEN
Have you ever wondered if it is truly possible to make a difference in Jackson’s under-resourced communities? What if Hope was more than a cliché but a reality?
At Jackson Leadership Foundation, we believe there is Hope and you can make a difference!
God has placed ministry leaders in every neighborhood in our city. These leaders are called and committed to the neighborhoods they serve. They have the relationships and trust needed to foster true spiritual, social and economic transformation in Jackson, block by block. But our ministry leaders need help!
Did you know every year nonprofit ministry leaders are leaving their jobs? In 2020, Forbes published a report that 45 percent of nonprofit employees will seek new employment within five years. Of that group, 23 percent said that nonprofits would not be among the types of organizations they intended to pursue. Burnout, lack of resources, scarcity of manpower, discouragement, and leadership development needs are but a few of the factors causing Jackson’s ministry leaders to step away from their ministry commitments.
Jackson Leadership Foundation sees a problem with this! Birthed out of the vision of local leaders with direction from Dr. John M. Perkins, Jackson Leadership Foundation partners with ministry leaders in Jackson to ensure they receive the support they need to grow as leaders and grow their ministries to the scale of the vision God has given them. JLF’s commitment is to empower ministry leaders in Jackson’s under-resourced communities through leadership development, volunteer and donor mobilization, and the incubation of new ministries.
Pouring into leaders
JLF’s Leader Lab program provides a free six-month nonprofit ministry training cohort. In tandem with the Mississippi Alliance for Nonprofit and Philanthropy, JLF ensures Jackson’s ministry leaders receive the best nonprofit ministry training available. JLF also offers top-notch leadership coaches (called Ministry Champions) to walk alongside Leader Lab participants, assisting leaders as they implement what they have learned.
Felecia Marshall, founder of Grant Me Justice, is a current Leader Lab participant. Felecia’s daughter was murdered in March 2017. Devastated, Felecia then had to face the challenge of navigating the tedious and tiresome legal process. Traumatized by it all, Felecia felt the burden to create a ministry for other mothers who have lost children to gun violence. As a brand-new nonprofit ministry, Grant Me Justice entered JLF’s Leader Lab in January 2022. During her time in the Leader Lab, Grant Me Justice has grown tremendously. The ministry has increased in board members, resources, volunteers, and most importantly, impact. Through JLF’s Leader Lab and Felecia’s leadership, Grant Me Justice is a much-needed light for our neighbors.
Felecia shares of her experience with JLF: “The mere fact of knowing that every JLF staff member, every ministry partner, and every Champion is rooting for the success of our ministries is priceless … Having a Ministry Champion like Nick Crawford and participating in JLF’s Leader Lab has armed me with every tool needed for Grant Me Justice to glorify God and to live beyond me.”
Not only do our ministries need leadership support, but they also need volunteer and donor connections. JLF’s Nehemiah Network program partners with people willing to give their time, talent and treasure to serve alongside Jackson’s ministry leaders. Because of your support through JLF’s Nehemiah Network, ministry leaders in Jackson are well resourced and well networked. They are growing to scale and able to transform more lives spiritually, socially and economically.
You can volunteer with a local ministry through JLF’s Nehemiah Network at jacksonleadershipfoundation.org.
Providing an umbrella
Thirdly, JLF also offers a Ministry Covering and Incubation service. JLF allows ministry leaders to operate their new or existing ministry under JLF’s 501c3 umbrella. For a small fee, JLF provides back-office support, governance, legal compliance, executive leadership, donation processing and more, so that a ministry leader spends more time serving on the street and less time behind the desk.
We believe transformation is possible. You can make a difference! Mississippi Christian Living is celebrating 20 years in 2022. Imagine where Jackson can be 20 years from now if we commit to invest in the leaders who are investing in our most needy of neighbors. There is hope!