"Who doesn’t want to spend $38 a month to directly answer a calling of the Savior of the world? To me, that’s a no-brainer," says Jon McNary, Lead Pastor of Heartland Community Church in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. The $38 he’s referring to is the monthly cost of sponsoring a child through Compassion.
"I love the place in the Gospels where Christ says that the greatest commandment is, first, to love God with your whole being and, second, to love your neighbor as yourself," says Jon. "Through Compassion child sponsorship, we can carry out this commandment by loving children in need."
Although only five years old, with a congregation of 500, Heartland decided to hold its first Compassion Sunday campaign to sponsor children in Kiserian, Kenya who were waiting for sponsors. "We asked Compassion what a good goal would be, given our church’s size and age," Jon recalls.
The problem was that Compassion’s suggested goal was too small, according to Jon. "There were more children who needed sponsors." So church leaders set their sights higher. “By the end of our Compassion Sunday, all the children were sponsored – and more children from other Compassion centers," Jon reports.
What about the impact that child sponsorship makes on Heartland’s tithes and offerings? Jon says with a chuckle, "We have pushed Compassion sponsorship pretty hard, and that has only caused our members to be more generous – their giving to Heartland annually increases by 15 percent. Giving to Compassion has been a blessing to the church."
Explaining why Compassion child sponsorship has found such enthusiastic support at Heartland, Jon concludes, "Child sponsorship is an easy way to make a difference in someone’s life, and to love a child the way you love yourself."
The mission of Heartland Community Church is to "courageously lead people to full devotion to Jesus Christ." For more information about this dynamic church, making a difference for God’s Kingdom, check out their website.