Homelessness: People Without Options

The ABCs of our Responsibility

Reading Time: 5 minutes

A recent study was was released showing the increase in homelessness in St. John’s, NL. On one day, in particular, there were at least 166 who did not have a place to call home. In a city the size of St. John’s, they are ‘sobering numbers’.  This post is based on my experience in Toronto, but the truth of our responsibility remains.


I ask myself: what would become of me if I received a series of unfortunate events? What if I lost my job…couldn’t make my financial obligations…lost my home and car…and my life completely changed? What would happen?

More than likely, I would have options. With so many family members and friends, that care about me, they wouldn’t let unfortunate events spiral out of control. I have options.

But what if I didn’t have options? What would happen then?

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How to Start a Christmas Campaign As the Local Church

5 Guidelines to Help Make a Christmas Impact

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Christmas planning is well on its way.  In a world that’s hurting and searching for true love and joy during Christmas, the local church has a great opportunity!  What if the Local Church thought beyond their Christmas banquet and cantata and began to physically spread Christmas love and joy?  What if we focused on an outward Christmas campaign every year?


Last year our church launched a Christmas campaign called “Give Christmas.”  It was a joy-filled campaign including local and international projects.  What works in our context, however, probably won’t entirely work in everyone’s context.

To help us think strategically, here are some guidelines the Local Church can use as we “give Christmas” this year:

1) Partner with a local/global group.

There’s no need to reinvent the wheel! There are numerous local and global groups that are already spreading the love and joy of Christmas.  Maybe the answer is to simply partner with one of them.

Here are some examples: Local gift-sharing initiatives (Happy Tree), Children’s Wish Foundation, Local food banks, Operation Christmas Child, Erdo, Compassion Canada, or World Vision. Feel free to share other groups in the comment section below.

2) Meet local needs.

Don’t just mimic what others have done, make an honest effort to meet needs in the community. Click To TweetDon’t just mimic what others have done, make an honest effort to meet needs in the community.  We don’t have to go very far to find a family who could use a gift of love during Christmas. Not sure where to start?  Make contact with a local food bank or town council.  These groups have helped us greatly!

In our campaign, we raise money to help make Christmas a little easier on a family.  Sometimes we can bless a family with a special gift, other times we can pay a bill and relieve some stress.

3) Join hands with other churches/denominations.

Local churches can do well on their own, but think of the impact that cooperation can make? After all, we’re not building our own kingdoms, but God’s kingdom.  It can be a local or global initiative; it really doesn’t matter.  Either way, cooperation increases our impact and encourages unity.

When we focus on God’s kingdom, the possibilities are endless. #GiveChristmas Click To TweetFor example, a Christmas project like Operation Christmas Child can only impact the world when groups work together.  Our local church will collect upwards to 75 shoeboxes, but together, our area is aiming to collect 2,400 shoeboxes, upwards to 37,000 as a province, 730,000 nationally, and 11 million worldwide.1  When we focus on God’s kingdom, the possibilities are endless.

4) Allow everyone to help.

The success of a church-wide campaign depends on the ability for everyone to contribute. #GiveChristmas Click To TweetNo matter of everyone’s social and economic status, we must provide a way for everyone to join the cause.  It’s no good to create a campaign that’s “out of reach” for some.  Instead, divide the project into smaller contributions, or encourage everyone to give a percentage of their income.  The success of a church-wide campaign depends on the ability for everyone to contribute.

5) Get the whole church community involved.

Sometimes we forget we’re a community.  Sure, we have individual ministries in the local church that target different people.  A church-wide campaign, however, needs to be a community effort.  Launch a campaign and get each ministry to support the campaign together.  Each ministry will bring something new to the table, while contributing to unity and strength.  It will make for a stronger Christmas campaign!

Now it’s time to create your Christmas campaign…

Use these five guidelines to help create a campaign that will have a great impact this Christmas.  If you’re a pastor, work through this process with your key leaders or board.

If you’re in lay leadership, dream big and present your idea to Church leadership.  Pastors and leaders are always eager for volunteers to take passionate initiatives!

Your turn…

Do you have some other guidelines for the local church?  Share them with us! Let’s “Give Christmas” together!

I would love to hear from you!  Feel free to comment below, on social media, or by email (andrewholm@gmail.com).  SUBSCRIBE HERE!

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