A church youth ministry’s citywide campaign in Shoalhaven, Australia, last year to do acts of kindness for a 10-week period is going global this year with the help of its “Love is Our Weapon” website.
More than 14,000 acts of kindness have been tallied on the “Acts of Love” global counter found on the website. Churches, ministry groups, and individuals can sign up on the site and launch their own campaign with their own church “love-deed counter,” said Benaiah Halliday, who is Mannahouse Church’s youth pastor.
“The church can track where the campaign is up to and how many love deeds the church corporately has done,” he said. “One church saw 500 love deeds registered in the first week by its congregation, which brought a huge amount of momentum and expectation across the church as a whole."
Each week of the campaign features a theme which can be found online with instructions. Themes include “Love the Lonely,” “Pray for Your Peeps,” and “Save a Soul.”
Instructions for the third week state: “The act of love for this week is Sharing is Caring! In Matthew 10:8, Jesus said that 'freely you have received, freely give.' This week go out and show God's love practically to others by sharing what you have with those around you! By sharing what you have you display the love of Jesus. So go out this week and be generous. Buy someone something at the school canteen, give your mum some extra help washing the dishes, or give someone a gift. Be creative – it's up to you! ... Jesus said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.' (Acts 20:35)”
Halliday said youth leaders came up with the idea of mobilizing youths to reach their city with practical acts of love. By the end of the initial 10-week period, the youth ministry had doubled, and “thousands of acts of love had been done,” he said.
The "Love is Our Weapon Campaign" is now being done by 10,000 people from 132 churches representing 12 denominations across six nations, stated Halliday.
"We are amazed by how an idea so simple can be used so effectively,” he said. “ We love hearing the different testimonies of people every week who have been impacted by the love of Christ through this campaign."
"Our heart is that whole communities will be changed by the love of Jesus. If this campaign helps a church to do that, that's fantastic," he said.
Churches and youth groups signing up for the campaign are sent a free resource pack including devotionals, promotion material and studies. Mannahouse Church is located in the city of Shoalhaven and is part of the Assemblies of God church association in Australia.