Ministry Sites

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Children’s ministry is a vital part of the MissionLab ministry in New Orleans. During the school year, this can look like anything from after-school programs to preschool work to playground ministry around the area. In the summertime, free or low-cost camps and programming for children is essentially non-existent in the city, leaving a huge need to be filled. Through Backyard Bible Clubs and sports camps provided by our volunteers, these children not only fill their days, but they also fill them with Christ-centered activities that can be life changing!

Most of our children’s ministry groups set up their programming in parks and green space around the city and spend the week ministering there. We provide the location, and you’re off and running! Many groups have found it best to spend the first day physically and spiritually prepping the area where they will be working. This includes trash clean-up, handing out flyers, and prayer walking. Groups come prepared with whatever supplies they want to use for their ministry, whether that involves crafts or equipment for games. We also partner with local churches and community centers to help out with camps and VBS activities all over the city. The supply needs and the level of prep necessary will vary by location, but the site coordinator can give you some insight when planning for these sites.

New Orleans is an urban center, and with that comes the issues found in most urban centers around the world. Our homeless population continues to increase. We have both the chronically homeless and those who are homeless because of recent circumstances. It is not our place to judge. Instead, we offer a helping hand to those in need. Groups have the chance to minister to the physical and spiritual needs of these people while they are here. You can give a care pack and pray with them, talk with them, listen to their story, and share yours.

Prayer is vital to the ministry taking place in New Orleans. We are a broken city of broken people, and the work here cannot be done without prayer. “Why could I not just as well stay at home and intercede?” This is the oft asked question related to participation on a prayer journey. The answer is, “You can.” And God will as surely hear and respond to your prayer as He will to the prayers of those who go. While “location” may or may not be important to everyone, it is of utmost value to the prayerwalker. To pray while seeing, feeling, touching, and hearing is to pray with more intensity. After the prayer journey is over, you will never pray the same way again for the location of your walk and the people you met there. We will provide you with locations, maps, and instructions for leading your group to pray for our city while you are here.

Hunger is a growing problem across the country and especially in New Orleans. More and more children and adults are at risk of hunger. We work with food banks and community centers across the city. Groups should be prepared to stretch themselves physically! Projects include loading and unloading food donations, sorting and packing donations, cleaning and general upkeep, as well as other various projects. The work is tough, but it is so rewarding!

Many of our volunteer groups have musical and drama skills that they would like to share with the community here. We can work with your team to schedule performance times and locations throughout the city.

Senior Adult Ministry is a great experience for all of our groups that come to Missionlab.  This is a time where your group will go to serve and spend time at different nursing homes or assisted living facilities that we partner with.  It’s a great time for your team to get to talk with people that are from a different generation than you and to learn from their experience.  Make sure that you don’t stay just with your team members but that you go and talk with the people at the facilities.

Many groups come to New Orleans to specifically spend time doing street witnessing throughout various parts of the city. This can take on many different styles depending on the group and their previous experiences. The people of this city are not strangers to street witnessing, and here at MissionLab, we have found that a few things work better than others when it comes to sharing your faith. People are much more likely to listen to what you have to say if you: speak kindly to them, ask them about their own personal story, and are willing to openly dialogue with them. While some people will not be interested in talking with you at all, others will be intrigued by your openness. Some groups hand out bottles of water, cups of lemonade, or even snowballs as a way to open the door for sharing the Gospel.

Our city is very much in need of physical labor. Construction work is such a key part of our ministry at MissionLab, and even when mowing yards and hanging sheetrock, opportunities to share the Gospel abound! Volunteers help with anything from helping the elderly maintain their yards to rebuilding entire houses. We work with local organizations as well as private homeowners, and we are happy to partner your group with one of our construction sites. If your group is interested in construction, keep in mind that you will need to bring with you or acquire the tools necessary for whatever job you will be doing. While many of our homeowners have some tools, they typically do not have specialized equipment or enough tools for an entire volunteer group to use. There are several home improvement stores in the city that rent tools and equipment if you are unable to bring along what you need. We do require that homeowners provide whatever materials are necessary for the repairs. It is wonderful and absolutely welcome if your group feels led to help cover the cost of these materials, but please know that it is not expected of your team.

NOTE: Please come prepared to lead your team in whatever level of construction you choose! Unless otherwise noted, groups will be working independently with homeowners, and site foremen are not available.

New Orleans is like a patchwork quilt of ethnicities and cultures, and the opportunities for ministry to internationals are around every corner! We work with some local ministries specifically geared toward internationals. These projects can include working with cruise ship employees and sailors from around the world. We also send groups to minister to the day laborer community we have here in the city. We have had a huge influx of construction workers in the city since 2005. Many of them speak Spanish and possibly a little English. They work long hours but are under no contracts, so they wait outside several of the home improvement stores each day to get chosen for jobs. This has brought about a new ministry in the city. Handing these men a snack package and a Spanish Bible speaks volumes to them, despite the language barrier. If your group has a specific people group that they are interested in working with, please let us know. However, please keep in mind that a working knowledge of a foreign language is great, but it is not necessary to minister! Smiles and kindness cross cultural barriers!