United States (MNN) — Did you know Open Doors USA partners with Cinnamon International? Cinnamon International’s Chief Executive and President, Matt Bird, says the organization is a catalyst for the global Church.
“We have two main strategies for helping catalyze the church to impact their communities. One is we find best practice models of church-led, church-based social impact. It might be a project working with vulnerable children or elderly people, homeless people or refugees or ex-offenders. If it’s a really effective project, we don’t want other churches having to create that project for themselves,” Bird says.
Cinnamon International in Action
Cinnamon International* helps replicate impactful models with other churches. For example, Cinnamon International helped a woman in the United Kingdom spread her work regarding holiday hunger.
“During term time in the United Kingdom, the government paid for children’s dinners if they come from a situation of hardship, which is great during term time because these kids get a good hot meal every day,” Bird says.
But when the term ends and kids go on holiday, those same children who received meals at the school go hungry. The woman, Rachel, was collaborating with three churches to feed the kids suffering from holiday hunger when she and Cinnamon International intersected.
Cinnamon International came alongside her to work as a catalyst, and within the first two years, they saw 56 churches make lunches to feed about 11,500 who would have otherwise gone hungry during their school break.
“Now in the UK, we have 30 models like that, that have been replicated by three and a half thousand churches,” Bird says.
The second strategy of Cinnamon International’s for helping catalyze the Church involves community and communication.
“The other is all those projects that churches run are all made possible and made better by their own relationship with civic agencies…But the problem is the Church communicates its value in story, whereas, civic leaders and institutions communicate value in numbers and metrics. At Cinnamon, we’ve developed a tool for helping the local churches in a district measure their social and economic contribution to the life of that district,” Bird says.
This tool is called the Cinnamon Faith Action Audit. Over the next five years, Cinnamon International will use this tool as it supports 50 cities in the United States to help churches measure their social and economic impact. Your city could be one of them!
“We’re starting with New York and Dallas and Seattle and we’ve got a pipeline of another 12 cities we’re going to be working with next year,” Bird says.
“That’s where we’re starting in the U.S. To try and capture what the Church is already doing, and then to identify gaps, needs within districts and cities that the Church can respond to and find projects that meet those needs, that we can replicate and scale up.”
*Cinnamon International’s name was inspired by the curry Bird and other leaders ate while drafting plans for what became Cinnamon International.
Header photo courtesy of Akira Hojo via Unsplash.