Building Homes! Rebuilding Lives! Get Out Of The Pews, And Put Your Faith Into Action!
Building Homes! Rebuilding Lives!
Get Out Of The Pews, And Put Your Faith Into Action!
By William L. Bulla
"Get out of the pews and put your faith into action" is something being heard around the world where Habitat for Humanity homes are needed.
Building a house gives people a concrete way to put their faith into action. In many communities, churches have responded to a simple idea called the Apostle Build project to construct Habitat houses with families in need.
Churches team-up to build a house! Twelve apostle churches or coalitions of churches work together to fund and build a house! The "12" may be individual congregations or a partnership of one or more churches.
Often, such projects are undertaken and underwritten by large churches that provide all the funds, much of the volunteer labor and even the food and daily devotions for the workers who are doing the actual construction. For smaller congregations, though, such a commitment has been nearly impossible. That's where the Apostles Build project comes in. The program recruits smaller churches -- ideally 12 of them, one for each of Jesus' disciples -- to come together to build one house as a unified team. Churches can even work together as one apostle to make the goal more obtainable.
Habitat provides the building site, house plan, and a carefully screened partner family to work alongside you. The Construction Manager will order all materials, have them on site, and will schedule all sub-contractors and inspections. Habitat provides construction expertise and leadership to support the leadership that emerges from the partner apostles.
Each apostle will be responsible for 1/12 of the cost of the home ($5,500). They work together to raise the money and provide the labor and prayer support to build a house in partnership with the selected local family in need. This family will be working on the house as volunteers, as required by Habitat. They will put in 500-hours of "sweat equity" helping to build their own home. The homeowner (partner) family receives an affordable, no-profit, no-interest loan. The homeowners' monthly mortgage payments are used to build more Habitat houses.
Currently, the Habitat for Humanity of Washington County has five apostles committed to the 2010 Apostle Build project. They are Otterbein United Methodist Church, Bethel United Methodist Church, Presbyterian Churches, Benevola United Methodist Church, and Hagerstown Area Religious Council (HARC).
You may ask, "How do I become an apostle?" Approach the persons or groups within your congregation who have a heart for mission and outreach. Inform them of this unique opportunity to be involved on a specific Habitat Build, in partnership with at least 11 other churches, in order to share the project of providing a home for a resident of Washington County. You may decide to ask another congregation to work together with you as one of the apostle partners. This further helps you share the $5,500 cost and the excitement of Habitat ministry.
For more information on becoming an apostle or volunteering, contact Cindy Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org or 301-739-9386, ext. 203.
William L. Bulla is a freelance writer residing in Washington County.