What's Your Niche

Tags: Alaska, Canada, SEND North, Story

What is your unique way of showing God’s love and displaying the truth of the Gospel?  Often I think we get locked into standard ministry roles like preacher or youth worker.  Those are good but limited ideas.  I recently came across some notes from a brainstorming session we did in 2012 which dived into the idea of identifying various niches within our communities.  Webster’s online dictionary defines niche in the following ways:

  • An ornamental recess in a wall or the like, usually semicircular in plan and arched, as for a statue or other decorative object.
  • A place or position suitable or appropriate for a person or thing:
  • A distinct segment of a market.
  • Ecology. the position or function of an organism in a community of plants and animals.

I think most of us know of this term in regards to business and marketing.  I think you can see that ‘Niche’ is also a helpful way to look at ministry in Alaska and northern Canada.  What positions or functions are necessary for a small community of people to thrive in harsh, extreme, northern environments?  In that brainstorming session at SEND North’s Annual Conference, our teammates listed off a few of the ways people get involved in our communities. 

  • Visit Elderly
  • Fix it man                                                            
  • Teacher                                                                               
  • EMS                                                                      
  • Preacher                                                             
  • Networking
  • Classroom Mom                                              
  • Fixing cars                                          
  • Drywall installation                                         
  • Youth Worker                                   
  • Woman’s work                                
  • Mom                                                                    
  • Gabber                                                
  • Listener                                                                               
  • Coffee Ministry                                                                               
  • Librarian                                                                              
  • children ministry
  • sports coach

No surprise that those standard ministry roles did make the cut.    I wonder which niches surprised you?  I was taken aback by the idea of a gabber (i.e. one who talks too much) as a vital part of community cohesiveness.  Have you thought of coffee as a ministry tool?  One of our teammates supervises students who run a youth center coffee shop for school credit.  We know teachers are vital for a community but have you thought of them as key ministry partners?  What about a mom who helps out in a classroom or a handyman?  The reality is that each community this far north pulls together, and everyone has an important role to play.  Since actions speak louder than words, living life together opens up multiple doors to minister to people.  This reality is why we are interested in taking anyone with any skill to serve in the Far North.  They key requirements are a clear calling and have a strong walk with Jesus because the spiritual climate is brutal up here.

So what is your niche?  What are the unique ways you can connect with people to share the Love of God?  If you are interested in ministry in Alaska or northern Canada, you can get more information by going to our ministry page.  We would love to help you find your place in missions whether you join us or not!


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