One of the core questions we asked when we planted Mission Church was, "What’s missing?" When you look around at the city and neighborhood God has called your church to serve, what is missing? How can your church bring restoration through relief and development?
We also believe @@we can’t solve every problem, but we can solve a few.@@ One of the few things we noticed that was missing was Christmas presents for many kids in the neighborhoods we serve. Too many Christmas mornings, kids who live amongst us run to their Christmas tree with excitement to find nothing for them. For us, this is not ok.
So we stole an idea from our friends at Community Christian Church in Naperville, IL: We started an annual Holiday Gift Mart. 5 years later, it serves a total of 5 schools and more than 500 families with 5,000 gifts! And here is the best part: It’s 100% volunteer led!
The basic premise is:
- You partner with a local school to discern the need
- Your church hits the stores to buy gifts for the Gift Mart
- Families in need show up and pay $1-2 per gift and feel dignified
- All the money that comes in goes right back to the school!
- Kids wake up, come downstairs and see gifts under the tree!
(Ok, it’s a little more complex than this. Leave a comment and we’ll get you more information.)
We know these gifts don’t solve everything, but we believe they provide a little hope and joy for that family. And for us, that is worth all of the effort.
What’s missing in your world? What are you doing this Christmas to bring restoration?