Dowagiac insurance agent Jeff Neumann always has two things on the mind: ministry and service.
Originally a youth pastor, Jeff joined the insurance business in order to spread more ministry in the community. It was then that he realized he could minister just as well if he stayed in his position as an insurance agent and spend his free time to leading worship at churches and volunteering in the community. It was this quest for community volunteerism that led Jeff to Action Ministries, where he is now the president.
“I wanted to be a pastor and all the best pastors I knew had jobs first,” Jeff says. “So, I got into this job mainly for the experience, but learned I could do so much more here, including run a non-profit.”
Action Ministries organizers describes it as a nonprofit collaboration of Christians that exists to minister to individuals and families in the Dowagiac area.
Action Ministries runs a food pantry and transitional housing units and hosts community worship events during certain holidays. The nonprofit also raises money for Feed the Hungry, an organization that provides mobile food pantries throughout Michiana.
“Our food pantry is our big attention getter, but that’s not how we want to be known,” Jeff says. “We want to be known as a Christian organization that works toward the betterment of the community.”
One of the facets that sets Action Ministries apart, Jeff says, is that it is about individuals working together to better the community.
“There are a lot of organizations that have area churches working together, but we wanted to leave churches kind of out of it,” Jeff says. “We are area Christians working together for the community. Right now we have individuals, churches and businesses joined.”
Jeff has been with Action Ministries since 2010. In that time, he said he has never thought of his work there as work. To him, his goal of promoting God through service is something he is grateful to have the opportunity to do.
“If someone were to ask me, ‘where do I serve,’ I couldn’t answer, because I just don’t think of it that way,” Jeff says. “It’s a ministry. I never think of volunteerism when I think of Action Ministries. It’s an expression of our love for God and the people in the community.”
Action Ministries does not do many holiday specific programs or events, though the organization will continue to serve the people of Dowagiac over the course of the holiday season.
“We do a couple extra things over the holidays because people are generous during that time and we get some more donations,” Jeff says. “But I don’t put much stock in Christmasy things. Every day is a holiday and every day is an opportunity to serve and share God with someone.”
How to give:
To donate to Action Ministries, call the organization at (269) 782-0000.
Photography by Wes Jerdon/Westley Leon Studios