On Wednesday’s blog I spoke about Elton Lin’s novel idea of giving each home group $5,000 to minister to the poor and needy. Elton’s groups are still actively working on their projects. Elton writes, “All three groups have linked up with local agencies to connect with people. One group has completed their project and have helped clean out the basements and repainted the exterior of two houses in their neighborhood. We’ll see how the other two groups go.”
On Wednesday, I was coaching another pastor, James Penner, senior pastor of Ross Road Community Church in Abbotsford, British Columbia (picture of James on right) and was thrilled to hear his testimony of practical service. James felt a burden to make a difference in his community. He decided to adopt a nearby school called Ross Road Elementary School. He told the principal that his church wanted to love and serve the school in anyway possible. James figured that by serving the public school, the church would be reaching out to the community.
Since that time, the church has sent approximately ten to fifteen volunteers to the school to help out. The church has financed a literacy program, raised money for the school, and tutored needy students. The church found out which families at the school were in fnancial need and asked some of the small groups to reach out to these people (food, Christmas presents, etc.).
The church gives $300.00 to each small group at the end of the year to minister to needy people. James told me that his own small group poured their time and money into a poor, non-Christian family from the school, whose father was dying of cancer. The dad eventually died and asked the church to do the funeral. The parents of the deceased father (the mother a former devout Jehovah’s Witnesses) were so touched that they started attending Ross Roads Community Church! James told me that he’s trying to change the DNA of his groups to become outreach oriented.
I was touched and challenged by Pastor James Penner example to reach the poor and needy.