This Christmas season as we think about making donations consider gifting a Bible to a Christian organization. Chris Morrison, pastor at Macedonia Temple of God in Aurora, IL, shares how his church’s love for others spurred them on to start giving gifts to warm the body and soul.
“Several years ago my wife proposed that we begin giving away winter coats to those in our church and community who couldn’t afford them. We started by asking people to donate coats. By our third year, the number of people coming to get coats had risen to a level where donations alone couldn’t meet the need, so we decided, as a church, to just buy new coats to give away.
By the next event, it was clear that we hadn’t purchased anywhere near enough coats. The event was to last from 11-1; we were out of coats by 11:45, and we had purchased over 200 coats. It was heartbreaking to have people show up hoping to get a winter coat for their children, and we had nothing for them. So, we upped our purchase to 450 coats for this year. We still ran out of the larger adult sizes!
We had also started using Immerse in our church this year, and the results were amazing. A contributing factor to that success was the format of Immerse. It didn’t read like a “normal” bible, and the packaging of it most closely resembles a book. So, we thought that it would be a good idea to offer Immerse Messiah (the New Testament) at our coat give-away. The population we’ve served most during these coat give-aways is predominantly Spanish, so having Immerse available in Spanish was a big plus. We had purchased some New Believer’s Bibles previously, and we put out the copies of that also.
We never wanted to make anyone feel obligated to do anything in order to get a coat for themselves or their children. That being said, we are a church, and we wanted to offer something they could take with them that would last long after their new coat had served its purpose. So, we simply laid out the Bibles, and as they were leaving with their bag of coats, we told them they could also have the Bible of their choice.
We ended up giving away 110 Bibles—with Immerse Spanish being the most chosen option. That number is a little over 25% of all the people who received coats. I’m sure we’ll continue to have a Bible option for this event in the future, and our hope is that we need more and more Bibles, just as we’ve needed more and more coats!”