OC Church Finds Creative Ways to Give
ORANGE COUNTY, Calif., June 23 /Christian Newswire/ -- Non-profit organizations and churches are feeling the economic crunch as charitable giving has decreased over the past year, but one church in Orange County has found a creative way to counter that trend.
According to an annual report by Giving USA, a publication of Giving USA Foundation(tm), charitable donations decreased by 3% nationwide last year. As non-profit organizations are learning to do more with less, The Well, an Orange County-based network of house churches, is teaching its members that living generously means more than dipping into their pocketbooks.
At a recent gathering of the entire network of The Well house churches, Eastburn challenged the church body to look for other ways to give. "Is there something in your garage or home that is being unused?" he asked. "Do you have a job or service that could help someone in need?"
The Well members began to list the things they could give: an unused truck, babysitting service, old yard tools.
"We strongly believe God calls Christians to give financially" says The Well Pastor Ken Eastburn. "But we also know that writing a check doesn't fully satisfy God's call on us to give. Living generously requires giving whatever you have -- time, energy and money."
This kind of creativity is nothing new to The Well. Once a traditional church, The Well decided to leave its building in 2005 and begin meeting in homes. Eastburn says this new model provides them with an opportunity to be more generous than ever before. Without a mortgage payment and the costs of maintaining a building, The Well is using its resources to help those in need. In fact, more than 50 percent of the tithes and offerings received are committed to outreach, service projects and meeting the needs of the community or church body.
"We know generosity doesn't depend on the size of your bank account," continues Eastburn. "Christians' lives should be characterized by their generosity, the openness with which they share what God has entrusted to them."
The Well attempts to model this generosity in the way it spends its resources. And, the church is openly learning how to do that and sharing its story on its blog at www.leavethebuildingblog.com.