Expedition Church formed a year ago in July as a different sort of church.
“We’re a church for people who don’t like to go to church,” said Donovan Christian, pastor.
He said the church has a philosophy to give away half of the money it gets from offerings. A quarter goes to meet needs around the world.
The church “sponsors” a village in Rwanda where it has built a well, bought several cows and provided other help. It has also done work in Jordan.
The other quarter stays in the Rim Country, with gifts to such organizations as the Time Out Shelter and the St. Vincent de Paul Rim Country Food Bank.
“With the unique economic situation (we are experiencing) in the Rim Country, we decided the best way to help was to give money to the people in church since they are the ones who best know where the need is.”
So, on Sept. 20, each person in the congregation between the ages of 13 and 17 was given $50, and everyone 18 and older was given $100. They were asked to use it in the community. They could keep it if they needed it, but were encouraged to give it to someone else with a greater need within a week.
“We have hurting people in the church, but most of them still gave it away. It went into every nook and cranny in the Rim Country,” Christian said.
“The goal was to get people to start to think differently about why we have the things we do. We wanted to prime the pump and get our members to look for ways to meet others’ needs.”
The gifts helped right now, but also created a foundation for 250 people to turn on their radar to help others, Christian said.
He said in his 20 years in ministerial service he has never heard of a church giving cash to its members.
“We are not a typical church,” he said.
“There are a lot of good churches in this community and they do wonderful work, but there was room for us too.”
The Expedition Church meets in the gymnasium at Julia Randall Elementary School at 10 a.m. Sundays.
A low overhead makes it possible for the church leadership and its members to be more generous.
“We don’t exist to build our own kingdom,” Christian said.
To learn more about the church, go online to www.discoverexpedition.com.