THE LEADERSHIP of 12Stone Church, a multi-campus congregation based in Gwinnett County, Ga., became increasingly concerned about how home foreclosures, rampant unemployment, and other financial strains were impacting families in metro Atlanta. They set an ambitious goal of providing relief to 5,000 families in their church and community. Eventually they raised more than $550,000 through designated gifts, many from church members who were themselves unemployed.
Partnering with the HoneyBaked Ham Company, Kroger grocery stores, and other area sponsors, the 12Stone Church members distributed food to needy families, culminating with a day of giveaways in the parking lot of Coolray Field, home to the Gwinnett Braves, the local minor league baseball team. People began lining up hours before the event, jamming traffic on nearby I-85. Others slept in their cars overnight to keep from missing out.
Imago Dei Church in Raleigh, N.C., has mercy ministries built into the DNA of the church. They’ve adapted Rick Warren’s PEACE Plan: plant churches, evangelize the world, aid the poor and sick, care for the orphan and the oppressed, and equip leaders.
Working through the Raleigh-based nonprofit Help One Now, Imago Dei is partnering with an orphanage in Haiti and sponsoring children. Through this ministry, the church is providing basic needs, including food, clean water, and health care. They also support education programs so that the children will be equipped to one day provide for their own families.