- More than one billion people don’t have access to clean, safe drinking water.
- 80% of all disease in the world is caused by unsafe water and the lack of basic sanitation.
More and more churches are developing an increased compassion, finding hands-on ways to give a cup of cold water in the name of Jesus. Or in this case, much more than a cup.
I recently saw a great example of this in this video by my friend Tim Lucas, pastor of Liquid Church, New Brunswick, NJ. His church did a 5K run locally to raise money to help locals in Africa build wells for their community, once in 2009 and again in 2010. Only $5,000 is needed to dig a 30 foot deep well that provides clean water for a village of 400. Because of this church’s efforts last year, some 60,000 lives in Ethiopia will be saved in the name of Jesus Christ. More lives are being saved in 2010.
As Tim asks with a smile, “What part of your theology doesn’t support clean water?”
Liquid Church is a great congregation, big on outreach. It’s interesting that their runs for clean water not only draw lots of community interest, but about 1/3 of the runners are not churchgoers. This gives the people at Liquid Church a great opportunity to build relationships with their neighbors. So it’s a win all around.
If you’re doubtful that it’s realistic or practical for an “ordinary” church to be the body of Christ to people in need in very tangible ways, a great book I recommend (the first book I read in e-book format, by the way), is Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns. It highlights many practical ways for churches to move their people from their seats to the streets, including “runs” to raise funds for and awareness about clean water.
What other clean water initiatives are you are aware of that churches are involved with?
Warren Bird, Ph.D., is Research Director at Leadership Network, and co-author of 21 books on various aspects of church health and innovation. His recent “Leadership Network” books blogs include He Irritates Christians to Get Busy and Change the World, Becoming a Healthy Fruitful Multi-Ethnic Church, What Is Necessary for Church Planting to Go Viral?Mark Batterson’s Primal, Updated Publishing Updates, Beyond Christendom Says Migration Keeps Transforming the Church, Terrific Biography of Rick Warren, The Soviet Plot to Kill God, The Worst Moment in Most Church Services, Excellent Resources for Church-Based Grants, Multi-Site Church Roadtrip Released Today, Do White Churches Hold Others in Cultural Captivity?and Church Merger Phenomenon Continues to Expand.