“Is there anything you could do with $10,000?” Why, yes, there are lots of things we could do.
In late 1999, I was having coffee with Deb – a deacon in the congregation I was serving – and she had an amazing idea: to use church space to open a computer training lab for underemployed neighbors. We had just closed our preschool and space was available in the church building.
Here’s the miracle: Deb presented her idea to the elders at the same meeting that we received a surprise $10k check from a church member. Without a whole lot of discussion, someone moved that we give Deb the money to start the computer lab.
It’s not like we didn’t have building maintenance needs to address or a budget to balance, but the whole $10,000 was passed to do something impactful for our community.
On November 20, Computer CORE celebrates its 20th Anniversary. The lab has since moved from the church building to a larger location and thousands of students have graduated and moved on to get hired into well-paying positions with dental benefits.
What would you do if your Church was given an unexpected $10,000?
Fix the roof? Pave the driveway? Send the long-suffering church administrator to Hawaii?
The answer to this question determines the spiritual health of your congregation.
Yes there are administrative and property needs but Jesus didn’t die for a new boiler. I’m convinced that funds to replace the HVAC system will come when people feel uncomfortable enough.
And I hope that the faithful are most uncomfortable when their neighbors are in need. Every single congregation in the world has neighbors who deal with hunger, homelessness, addiction, mental illness, and violence. What could we do to alleviate their pain? It depends on the situation, but $10k could make a difference.
That $10,000 our congregation was not used to start a project that would “bring in new members.” Most of the Computer CORE students are not Christian and don’t want to be Christian. But they have experienced the love of Christ in a very tangible way.
At the first graduation of CORE students a young man from Morocco kept taking my picture – a bit surreptitiously. It was a little unnerving frankly. Finally I asked him why he was taking my picture. And this is what he said:
I told my family in Morocco I was taking computer classes in a Christian church building and they told me to ‘Get out of there! The Christians will try to kill you!’ But he told them that ‘The Christians are not trying to kill me. They are helping me.’ I wanted to send them a picture of the pastor of the Church that’s trying to save my life.
Whose life could your congregation save with $10,000?
Image of some of the students of Computer CORE. You can donate your $10k here. Seriously. Make a donation.