No Needs Meets Many Needs
The first few months of 2020 brought a series of major changes to 2|42 Community Church. First, the church added three new campuses, increasing its total number of locations from four to seven. Next, founding pastor David Dummitt departed after accepting the call to serve as senior pastor at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois. Then, of course, the pandemic shut down live worship services at all seven of the congregation’s campuses.
Despite all of that, executive pastor Eric Rauch said the most significant event of 2020 was “The No Needs Project,” a monthlong, churchwide initiative that helped meet individual needs during the Christmas season. The No Needs Project was inspired by the “Big Give,” a single day of service and generosity 2|42 Church had organized in previous years.
In 2020, Rauch and 2|42’s other leaders were inspired to expand on the Big Give concept with a goal of meeting every need in the community. Rather than building an elaborate, staff-run program, 2|42 created a website, NoNeedsProject.com, where anyone from the surrounding area could submit a need and anyone from the church could sign up to meet it. The system was simple—essentially a digital bulletin board inspired in part by PrayerLoft, a web application that allows people to post and pray for specific requests. The purpose of the No Needs Project website was to facilitate connections between individuals as quickly as possible with minimal administrative work.
“To make it work, it had to be really simple,” Rauch said.
It was indeed a really simple system—and it really worked.
In just three weeks, the people of 2|42 received and met more than 1,800 needs through the No Needs Project website. Requests ranged from small and predictable items like winter clothes, groceries, and help with household projects . . . on up to major items like reliable transportation. By the time the project concluded on December 20, five vehicles had been given to families in need, and several 2|42 members were being tested as potential donors for an individual in need of a kidney.
The church did not specifically track each interaction facilitated by the No Needs Project, but Rauch estimates the total value of the goods and services exchanged between individuals easily exceeded $500,000.
In a year of transition when, as Rauch said, “all churches are in an incredible season of refinement,” 2|42 Community Church found a new way to love people by empowering everyone in the congregation to give as they were able or to receive as they had need.
“I can’t think of a better way for the church to end 2020,” said Rauch as he reflected on the ways God used his people.