People have all sorts of opinions about mega churches, and I respect all of them. The reality is that there are pros and cons to everything in life, and variety exists to suit everyone’s needs. That being said, Ryan and I love our church, North Point, which happens to be a mega church. Like mega-mega. One of the pros of being part of a large body of believers is that we can do things on a large scale, and every year North Point embraces this ability in a campaign called Be Rich. It’s a month-long endeavor to raise money, serve the community, feed the hungry and support in-need families during the holidays. It’s a wonderful thing to be a part of, and it’s energizing and invigorating to see our efforts come to fruition.
Part of the campaign is that the church asks its members to volunteer a few hours during November and December, and this weekend our small group’s families did just that. We spent some time on Saturday with our friends and our kids decorating Hope Boxes and making cleaning kits along with a room filled with people looking to pay it forward, and although the actual serving was perhaps more fun for us than work, that’s not the real story here.
The emotional piece for us was being able to be there when North Point presented the organization we were helping, Lighthouse Family Retreat, with a check. The first week of Be Rich, our pastor asked everyone to give money to the campaign, 100% of which goes straight back out to help the community via organizations like this. Yes, you read that right, 100%. That’s the best selling point ever, because we all know the stigmas attached to giving to mega churches. Witnessing the leaders of LFR’s reaction when being handed a $100,000 check was priceless; it means for them that with our donations (PLUS LFR’s core donors will match the check dollar-for-dollar!), in December of 2014 they’re already ⅔ of the way to their entire 2015 fundraising goal of $300,000. AMAZING. What a relief it must be for them to be ahead of the game, to be free to focus more on the doing of their organization instead of the funding of it. Ryan and I have a particular place in our heart for LFR because he served as the musician for a retreat many years ago in the infancy of our marriage, and so when he blinked away a few tears during the thank you speech, I felt extra happy. And you know what? Being part of a mega church means that there are more donations to disperse, many more, and I can’t wait to hear the stories of the lives that will be impacted.
So, here are the pictures of our time spent doing a little work for Lighthouse Family Retreat, but, truthfully, they can’t tell the best part of that story…