As I made my vocational shift earlier this summer from full-time student pastor to full-time Executive Director of The 25 Group, I’ve had a lot of people ask me the same question:
How’s the new gig?
After they ask that question, and I respond with a general, “Good, it’s going good, man. Thanks for asking,” they usually respond with some form of the following question:
What is your new gig, anyway?
The truth is, I’m doing a lot of different things — preaching, writing, etc. — but it’s all designed to synergize and benefit our nonprofit work with The 25 Group, which I’m now leading full time. And that leads to a third question:
What is The 25 Group, anyway?
You can always visit our website and answer that question for yourself, but I thought I’d lay it out here for those who might be curious. It’s a question that answerable in two ways: snippets and stories.
- The 25 Group is an invitation to the Church to be the most generous people on the face of the planet
- The 25 Group is an answer to Jesus’ command to care for the least of these (Matthew 25)
- The 25 Group is more a community than it is an organization — we have donors from all over the U.S.
- The 25 Group values Jesus, justice, and generosity
- The 25 Group is about making less least of these, $25 at a time
- In our first three years, The 25 Group raised and gave away over $200,000 to 14 organizations in 8 countries. We’re on track to raise and give away more money than ever in 2017.
- The 25 Group is particularly concerned with the needs Jesus mentions in Matthew 25: the hungry, sick, thirsty, stranger, naked, and imprisoned.
- The 25 Group takes small gifts from individuals and turns them into large capital donations to organizations and ministries meeting these types of needs
Tina started Hope Impacts, a ministry to the homeless, in 2014. She worked a full time job and then met, fed, mentored, befriended, and counseled the homeless in her limited spare time. She was praying God would provide a way for her to run the ministry full time. Some she was able to help off the streets. Others weren’t so lucky — they died because of insufficient medical care, their own stubborn habits, or from addiction. But Tina kept plugging away, growing a small army of advocates in the Katy, Texas area. Last year, The 25 Group approached Tina and reached an agreement where we would help Hope Impacts transition Tina into a full-time role by providing resources for her salary. Under her full-time attention, Hope Impacts continues to grow and change lives in the greater Houston area, helping over 40 people off the street under her leadership.
There’s a village in India that is home to families of persecuted Christians. They are relocated there from some of the most violent and oppressive areas of the country. In many cases, they have lost a father and main income provider to extremism, simply for preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Often, they are low-caste individuals without much hope for an education or even having their basic needs met. The 25 Group provided significant funding to build a facility in that village that would be a community gathering place, including a school for their children. After suffering much loss, families now have hope.
There’s a safe house in Haiti where several girls live and learn after being rescued from human trafficking. The stories that pour forth from the leadership of this ministry are startling. But a family atmosphere has been established, and excellent care is being given. In 2015, The 25 Group raised money to pay the rent for this organization for the entire calendar year of 2016. At the time, it was our largest one-time gift ever ($35,000) and it was raised by people just like you, giving about $25/month, because there are some problems in our world we just should not ignore.
So, what is The 25 Group? Well, through snippets and stories you can see it’s a feisty group of people who think that 700 million people without enough food to eat or clean water to drink shouldn’t be a thing. We think people sleeping under bridges is stupid. We think people being bought and sold like commodities is evil. We think even the poorest among us should have access to basic healthcare. And even if all we can do is give $25/month, we’re going to link arms and get some Kingdom work done.