There are times when every move feels like you are trudging through mud, waist-high in water, searching for those car keys you dropped in the lake. And then there are times when the stars align and all of life makes perfect sense. This is one of those stars-aligned, sun-is-rising, last-parking-spot-is-suddenly-available kind of moments.
I am thrilled to bring light to Better Finds’ first charity partnership. At the tail end of 2017, we launched a partnership with LifeWay Church in Federal Way, Washington. LifeWay is using Better Finds as a way to fund their Benevolence Ministry. The reason this partnership launch is so wonderful is because of how naturally it occurred. I have deep relationships with the leaders and members of LifeWay and love how aligned the vision of this church is with the mission of Better Finds.
To help you gain more insights to why we mesh so well, below is a Q&A with Mike Freeman, senior pastor of LifeWay Church.
Jonathan (Better Finds): Tell me about LifeWay Church and your vision and purpose in the community.
Mike (LifeWay): Our vision and purpose in the community is to reach people for Jesus by meeting real needs and serving people in ways that are meaningful to their lives. We should be a place where people can be known in a way that’s not judgmental, but where they simply feel cared for. One way we do this is by being there for people through their financial tensions. This is not just through direct monetary support, but also by providing mentoring, coaching, and basic budgeting tools.
Jonathan (Better Finds): You are partnering with Better Finds in particular to support LifeWay’s Benevolence Ministry. What does “Benevolence” mean?
Mike (LifeWay): “Benevolence” at LifeWay is helping people when they need a buffer in their life; when something happens that keeps people from meeting their typical financial obligations. Examples include not being able to pay their heating bill or their rent. It’s a way to help both people who are already part of our church family but also help people who are out in the broader community. It’s meant to serve as a bridge as we meet a physical need for someone. It also builds a bridge so we can meet the relational needs of people.
Jonathan (Better Finds): What an incredible vision! Can you share with me a story about someone specific whose life has been changed because of LifeWay’s Benevolence Ministry?
Mike (LifeWay): Absolutely. There’s a couple we know with two kids who were employed in highly technical and educated work in a different country. As life circumstances led them to leave their home country, the husband is now in school with the goal transfer his skills, while also working to support the family. The language barrier has been very difficult for them. When their water heater broke, they were too humble to let anyone know. It was only after a month that the church found out about their issue, and we were able to replace it for them. Imagine life with two children for a month in the northwest without hot water! After we helped them, I remember the gratitude they had. The tears they had. There was an overwhelming emotion from being cared for so much. All this was made possible because of the Benevolence Ministry at our church.
Jonathan (Better Finds): I love how tangible of an impact your church is having on the community. Thank you for sharing that story with us. Shifting gears just a bit, why are you excited about the partnership with Better Finds?
Mike (LifeWay): I think our partnership with Better Finds is most exciting because it’s sacrificial beyond just giving money. It’s a direct need being met. There’s this clear one-to-one tie between someone selling an item on Better Finds and someone’s life being impacted in a positive way. It’s also a cool way for people to get to be like Jesus. He gave of himself for us out of love, and that’s exactly what people who use Better Finds are doing. It’s people giving of themselves, in love, for the betterment of someone else.
Jonathan (Better Finds): What do you hope to accomplish through this partnership?
Mike (LifeWay): Show me the money! The goal of leveraging the Better Finds marketplace is not only for our members to give sacrificially, but also ultimately so our Benevolence Fund would increase. We want the amount of people we can help to always be growing.
Jonathan (Better Finds): That makes a lot of sense, and that’s exactly why Better Finds exists. Before we wrap up, is there anything you want to tell the Better Finds community?
Mike (LifeWay): First of all, thank you for being willing to part with things so that others can be blessed. Don’t be afraid to expand your thinking about how you’re using Better Finds as far as how you’re inviting others to use it and thinking creatively about what you might be able to post to the marketplace.
Jonathan (Better Finds): Thanks so much for your time, what you are doing in the community, and your encouragements.
To post items benefiting LifeWay church, download the Better Finds app at: http://www.lifewayconnect.com/betterfinds/