“Freely you have received; freely give.” Those words of Jesus, found in Matthew 10:8, are more than a sentiment to the people of Neighborhood Church in Adrian, Michigan. Since its launch in January, 2016, they have had significant opportunities to both receive and give.
Their first opportunity to receive came when they acquired a building from an older FEC church whose pastor was retiring. Archbold Evangelical Church, Archbold, Ohio, provided the renovations that the building needed. Having a low-cost building has allowed the church to offer the space to its neighbors for personal use. When a men’s homeless shelter needed a temporary home to run their programs, Neighborhood Church welcomed them.
From the start, Neighborhood Church has committed to give away what they didn’t need. That commitment includes giving away 10%. Pastor Nate Hamblin explains another principle that guides their giving. “Once we have 3 months of operating expenses saved, we want to give any extra cash away. We are trying to operate as simply as we can.”
When Neighborhood Church launched in 2016, Comins Community Church in Comins, Michigan, gave a $2500 gift to the new church to offset startup costs. Remembering their generosity and the expenses involved, Neighborhood Church sent a $2500 gift to Southside Community Church, Wooster, Ohio, after their launch.
Last October, 2018, they received a generous gifts from Solid Rock Community Church in West Unity, Ohio, along with local partner churches, for neighborhood outreach. Having already painted a house on their block and hosting a neighborhood party with another local church, they decided to to buy gift cards for the homes on their street. In December, they gave the gift cards away while Christmas caroling. Hamblin says, “We wanted to give them something simply because they are our neighbor.” Freely receive, freely give.