We Love All God’s Children Transforms Lives with Christian Social Innovation Centers
By: Sherri Gragg - Español
A Life Changed Through Love
On Thanksgiving night, the Rev. Jill Daniel, Director of We Love All God’s Children and her husband, Ken, joined hundreds of other Walmart shopper in pursuit of Black Friday deals. Suddenly, a voice rose above the roar of the crowd to call Daniel’s name.
A handsome young man pushed his way through shoppers to wrap the couple in his arms. After a moment, the Daniels recognized him as a child they had once served through their day school from infancy.
The child who was the first one dropped off and the last one to leave. The child of a mother struggling mightily with drug addiction.
As the young man hugged them, he began to cry. “I saw you and had to come tell you that I am who I am today because of what you gave me,” he said. He went on to tell them that he had just earned his Master’s in Business Administration from Louisiana State University. He and his wife were expecting their first child.
Christian Social Innovation Centers
Daniel says she hopes this young man’s story of how the course of a child’s life can change will be one of countless others as We Love All God’s Children launches Conference-wide Christian Social Innovation Centers.
Daniel and her team are currently searching for churches to host the first of these centers, designed to partner with local agencies and organizations, to offer vital support to underserved children between the ages of birth and 11-years-old in the areas of Discipleship, Literacy and health.
Ideal Churches for Christian Social Innovation Centers have-
- Strong pastoral leadership
- Committed congregational support
- Strong lay leadership
- Established preschool (or facilities that are start-up ready for preschool)
- A mission-field reflecting an under-served population
Daniel stresses that churches can exist as powerful agents of change within struggling communities simply by offering scores of local agencies the space in which to meet crucial needs of children and their families. Through these partnerships, churches are empowered to minister holistically to children by offering health services, food banks, dental care, parenting classes and more.
As the Conference commits to walking beside local churches in this effort, Daniel hopes those churches will “dream big” in serving the mission field just outside their doors. She knows that as this happens, more young men and women will come forward with their stories about how God changed their lives through ordinary men and women who were willing to answer the call of loving all God’s children.
“I want people to be able to look back and say, ‘Somewhere in 2019 something began to change in our community,’” Daniel said. “Our schools’ scores went up. More kids are graduating high school. It was a movement that began at church, but then the whole community got involved.”
“This,” said Daniel, “is my prayer.”
Is your church ready to answer the call? We Love All God’s Children is accepting applications for the first Christian Social Innovation Centers through February 1, 2019. Apply here.