The Heart of Service
If we're not making a difference in our community, why are we here? This question, along with Christ's example of service, prompted Meadow Glade Seventh-day Adventist Church to redouble their efforts to serve. And Kingdom Assignments took center stage.
Participants are given $100 with only three rules. First, participants must recognize that the money belongs to God. Second, the money must be used to extend His Kingdom. In other words, the money must be used to help a person or organization outside of the church. Third, participants must report back in 90 days about where the money went.
For several years, Pastor Rick Bowes has encouraged Meadow Glade members to serve the community. Kingdom Assignments presented the church with another way to reach out. When the Oregon Conference offered its churches $500 seed money for the project, Meadow Glade was one of the first to sign up. They also decided to match the conference money with their own so more people could participate.
The $1000 seed money was divided among 10 teams. Now came the challenging part: What to do with the money.
"When it comes to Kingdom Assignments, the sky's the limit," says Associate Pastor Jim Bollin. "Whatever you feel led to do, do it."
Linda Gibb, one of the volunteers, was nervous at first. "The appeal was made at church for 10 people to volunteer to do something for God," she says. "I thought maybe it was community service or a bible study." When she discovered that she would be entrusted with $100 to extend God's kingdom, she wasn't sure how successful she'd be. But she decided to try.
And she played to her strengths. "I like people and interaction," Gibb says. "I also enjoy baking." Keeping those things in mind, she organized a dessert bar at the church, which featured all kinds of gourmet desserts, fruit cobblers, banana bread and vegan options.
Because she didn't feel comfortable charging people directly for the desserts, Gibb asked for donations. "I just told people to come and enjoy desserts and good company and to donate as much as they felt led to share," she says. The support was overwhelming.
|Photo by Shannon Gibb|
Gibb raised more than $1000. Her cause? Scheer Memorial Hospital in Nepal, which serves some of Nepal's poorest citizens. Gibb's daughter, Shannon, was a student missionary there, and Gibb knew that the hospital and affiliated school were in great need of basic supplies and medical equipment. "It was only natural to focus my resources there," she says.
According to Gibb, the best part about Kingdom Assignments, apart from helping others, is the variety and teamwork. "The causes were all different, but they were all wonderful," she says. Friends and church members helped Gibb with her Assignment and she helped out with other Assignments.
"Kingdom Assignments have opened the door for more service opportunities," Pastor Bollin says. "People are starting to realize that they really can make a difference." And that's what Christ's mission of service is all about.
By Jana Cress Miller