Have you ever imagined bringing unbelievable change for your congregation while simultaneously impacting others around the world? Did you ever think strengthening your missional community could be done by sleeping on the floor and re-wearing dirty clothes?
In just seven days, families in your community can experience all of this, and get an idea of what poverty looks like for many of our brothers and sisters across the globe. Over the last year, nearly 60 churches around the country have been exploring what it looks like to engage their whole congregation around what it means to live out Matthew 25.
“‘For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’…
‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” -Matthew 25:35-36, 40
The Matthew 25 Challenge is a discipleship tool that invites families out of their comfort zones through a week of daily sacrificial challenges. It will open the eyes and the hearts of your community in unimaginable ways.
Three pastors, and their churches, spent one week in simple sacrificial challenges, living out Jesus’ call in scripture.
“Really, Now’s When You Decide to Listen to the Holy Spirit?”
Jenny Jones, Real Hope Community, Richmond, TX
“As pastors we don’t always have the answers, and when it comes to church engagement, many don’t have the support and resources needed to address global poverty, let alone how to act on it. When given the opportunity to share the Matthew 25 Challenge in my church, I found that this was the exact onramp that church leaders could use to support God’s vision and get involved.
As a mother of four, it was amazing to witness my own children actively participate in the challenges. On the night we were to sleep on the floor, I came across my son bringing his blanket and pillow downstairs.
I asked him what he was doing, thinking we were going to sleep together in the carpeted game room upstairs. He looked at me and said, “In the videos, I didn’t see any of those kids being able to sleep on carpet.” I thought, Now you decide to listen to the Holy Spirit!
It really was a blessing to watch my son begin to lead us on what it means to follow Jesus. I truly love this challenge, it was an unimaginable experience.
Youth Expand the Challenge to Their Schools
Jeff Moes, Sunnybrook Community Church, Sioux City, IA
“As a church, we have always supported the efforts of outside missions caring for the global poor, but we had never really internalized it. Our congregation wanted to make caring for the world’s most vulnerable a priority. When I found out about the Matthew 25 Challenge, I knew it was the tool we needed.
Throughout the challenge week, I witnessed the unbelievable impact it had on the people in my church. I saw the most dedication when it came to our youth—we saw them engaging with the challenge on a whole new level.
On the day we were to wear the same clothes from the day before, our young people created conversation at school as people noticed. They then brought these daily challenges to their friends and encouraged them to take part.
Teachers and other students completed the challenges with them. I could never have imagined the extent to which this challenge affected my congregation, let alone the entire community.”
A Platform for Deeper and More Vulnerable Conversation
Juampa Martinez, Church on the Rock, Wasilla AK
“For me, it’s personal. I was born and raised in Colombia, where we are no stranger to poverty. My sister once took me along to complete her service project in the slums of Bogotá, where I saw unimaginable poverty.
Right in the middle of it was World Vision, working to change lives. Their dedication inspired me, and once I became a pastor, I didn’t hesitate to find opportunities for my church to engage.
I jumped at the opportunity to bring the Matthew 25 Challenge to my church. It gave my congregation an idea of what poverty looks like, to those we have been fortunate enough to never have experienced anything close to it. It was a practical and engaging way for our church to address and care for the global poor, and brought our congregation closer together.
All I can tell you is this—give it a try. You’ll be able to give something tangible for your church to engage in the words of Jesus.”
Take part in the Matthew 25 Challenge
World Vision’s Matthew 25 Challenge disciples your community through an immersive and transformational text-message experience that engages your whole missional community, strengthens families and transforms the lives of children around the world.
On October 21-28, 2018, we are inviting churches and missional communities to step into this experience.