Elton Lin is the pastor of Haven, a church plant in the San Jose area. I’ve had had the privilege of coaching Elton and can testify that he has a compassionate heart for needy people. He has repeatedly felt burdened to equip his cells to reach out with the gospel AND with practical acts of service.
Several months ago, he gave each house group $5,000.00 and basically said use it to make a difference in the community! He called it the Justice Project. Here’s what he wrote and gave to each group:
Objective: To find ways to â€œact justly and love mercyâ€ [Micah 6:8] within the community that we live.
- Practice hearing Godâ€™s voice
- Develop an eye for people in our community who are poor, marginalized, neglected, under-resourced, under-privileged
- Find creative ways to make our resources matter to those who need it
- Put our faith into action.
Summary: The house group will be given $5,000 USD to be a resource for putting our faith into action in our communities. Each person will also contribute a suggested amount of at least $50. If you cannot afford $50, prayerfully contribute what you are able. The hope is NOT that we would donate money to a charity, but that we would pray, seeking Godâ€™s heart and seeing our local community through his eyes. We hope to find opportunities to tangibly love those around us and use the money as a means to serve people. The goal is always to love God and people.
- Pray â€“ Pray for God to open our eyes to people who are marginalized, neglected and experiencing injustice.
- Investigate â€“ Investigate the needs of these people.
- Discuss â€“ Discuss tangible ways to serve, love and empower these people.
- Devise â€“ Devise a concrete plan [objective, costs/materials, date, required personnel].
- Pray â€“ Pray for God to revise, adjust and provide in regards to the plan.
Sample Ideas [not limited to]:
- Building Handicap Access Ramp for People w/Disabilities
- Establish and Resource a Computer Lab for a Community Center in an Under- Resourced Neighborhood
- Helping to Renovate a Food Bank or Shelter
- Prepare and Give Out Street Survival Kits for Homeless.
- If project requires, Haven may provide more funds upon request.
- Compete Project by October, 2007.
As soon as I know what happened, I, Joel, will let you know.