Answering the call from pastor Steven Furtick, over 1,600 members of Elevation Church in Charlotte, NC pledged their time and resources to mentor youth in their community. The original goal was to see 1,000 mentors connected with 1,000 children for one year. Jamie Waldron, Elevation’s outreach program director, told The Christian Post, “I am absolutely in love with our church. To see that the people step up and move toward an issue rather than say, ‘You know what, that’s too bad…’ is amazing.”
The initiative was prompted by statistics showing a high rate of Charlotte-area students will not graduate from high school. Elevation Church showed a video of Charlotte’s Mayor Pro Tem Patrick Cannon touting the positive benefit of mentoring from his own experience: “My mother connected me with a mentor when I was a child to encourage me after the tragic loss of my father. She knew I would need someone to encourage me when so many others said I would never go anywhere or amount to anything.”
The church will train the volunteers and partner with 14 local mentoring organizations, including A Child’s Place, Right Moves for Youth, and school organizations.
“We have always said we want to be a blessing to our city and support our leaders with a volunteer force they can count on,” said Furtick. Mayor of Charlotte Anthony Foxx said, “Our city is better off because of Elevation Church.”
This story got me thinking, what do you do in your church to bless your local community?