Saturday, January 03, 2009


About 3 years ago my wife Wendy and I felt called to leave our on-staff position at a local church we'd help to plant with friends and start a house church where 100% of the offering could go to the poor.

Yesterday I read a story in the newspaper about a church in Schaumberg, IL that did the same thing. How awesome!


Illinois church puts emphasis on giving
By Sophia Tareen
The Associated Press

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. - The members of Waterfront Community Church attend weekly services in a high school auditorium. Their contemporary Christian music rock band practices at someone's home. And the pastor relies on a laptop and Starbucks for an office.

The nondenominational suburban Chicago church operates on a shoestring budget and under an unusual financial setup so it can stick to a mission: Give 100 percent of offerings gathered from the collection plate to those in need.

"We found how little we know about the people around us," said the church's pastor and founder, Jim Semradek. "We started asking around, 'What are the needs of the community?' When you present that need to people, they're very responsive. People have very generous hearts."

Churches typically use at least part of the money collected at worship services for administrative costs, including heating the sanctuary and paying the pastor's salary.

Waterfront is instead funded by eight sponsors; half attend the church and the others are outsiders who support the mission. Their combined contributions, along with some fundraising, pay for renting the school auditorium and salaries. In addition, several of the church's nearly 200 members donate their services as accountants and financial planners to make it all work.


*What really amazes me is how they managed to give 100% of their offering to the poor and to touch their community in awesome ways without becoming a house church. Pretty cool.

I'm very glad we've got our house church going, but it's interesting that they found a way to make it work with financial support and fund-raising.

It gives me hope as more and more Christians decide to invest in the Kingdom and in people around them with tangible blessings.

May the tribe increase!


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