By Jennifer Johnson
Northeast Christian Church (Louisville, KY) has a history of giving money to church members who want to use the funds to make a difference—and the recipients of these donations have a proven track record of changing lives with the money.
Several years ago as part of a sermon series, Northeast’s leadership team chose 100 people and gave each one a hundred dollar bill with instructions to use the money for something God was calling them to do. From this investment came a number of ongoing ministries, including a “Mom’s Closet” which helps single moms with education, food, and clothing, and a “Santa Shop” in a local children’s hospital where kids receiving medical treatment can choose Christmas gifts for their family.
This past fall, Northeast created a new opportunity as part of a new sermon series.
“We did a short series called ‘Single on Purpose’ which focused on being single, a topic that’s often overlooked in the church,” says Jenna Burns, marketing director at Northeast. “We challenged the many single people in our church to allow God to use this season of their lives in purposeful ways.”
But the church did more than encourage singles to use their time and energy for God; it once again provided money to make those efforts successful.
“Contributions from the church and from private donors totaled $24,000,” Burns says. “Instead of preselecting the recipients and giving them all the same amount, this time we invited people to share their vision for ministry and apply for the funds.”
The church received 20 applications, many (but not all) from single people and most (but not all) from members.
“We intentionally didn’t share this on social media or in a press release, because we wanted applicants who had heard the message and the heart behind the project,” Burns says. “But the people in our church were so excited that they shared it with others, so some applicants are from other states and even other countries.”
The church awarded the funds to nine individuals, each one with a different dream.
• Rose adopted her daughter from an orphanage in Guatemala 13 years ago and plans to take her daughter back to show her where she came from and to serve with her in the orphanage.
• Tracey wants to start a relational Bible study for Muslims.
• Kristal plans to build a children’s home in India.
• David is starting an apologetics ministry.
• Melissa—a former addict who is now sober and following Jesus—wants to pursue her degree in counseling so she can help other addicts.
Visit www.necchurch.org/kingdommissions to see all of the Kingdom Mission recipients!