By Alanna Ketler, Collective Evolution
The vast majority of churches spend a large chunk of their donations on advertising in an attempt to lure more people in and to spread the message far and wide. Recently, the Covenant Church of Carrollton, Texas decided to spend a whopping $10 million to pay off medical debt for a number of it’s local residents.
When you think about it, this church did something to give back to it’s residents, to actually help those in need and in turn, the investment brought them advertising, through news coverage and shares on social media, although this wasn’t their original intention. Funny how things seem to come full circle when you do the right thing, isn’t it?
On this past Easter Sunday, pastor, Stephen Hayes announced the great news to the church attendees saying, “Covenant, we committed $100,000, and this week 4,229 families in out area will get a letter saying your debt is completely paid.”
According to Hayes, the church made a transaction through RIP Medical Debt, a Non-profit that buys up then eradicates existing medical debt for those in need. GoodNewsNetowrk reported that medical debt can be bought by collection agencies for a fraction of what it’s actually worth, this is why $100,000 actually equals around $10 million, the amount that has been completely abolished for a number of struggling Texan families.
What The Congregation Members Think
“I think that is amazing. Definitely something I support 100 percent,” commented one attended.
“I have grandparents who are veterans, too,” another congregation member said. “So just thinking about the hardship that would cause for someone. It wasn’t their choice. They didn’t go into debt because they ran up the credit card. It’s because something that happened to them. So I just love that we were able to help people where it wasn’t their choice. But we got to choose to help them. I just love that.”
What Inspired This Incredible Act Of Generosity?
Pastor Stephen Hayes knows how devastating medical expenses can be for struggling families. At 17-years-old, he was hit by a car and had to stay for 12 days in the ICU. Afterwards his parents had an overwhelming amount of debt in medical bills. Their church and congregation got together and helped his family to pay off the debt, this is what inspired the idea for Hayes to give back and to help other families who are currently struggling with these types of expenses.
229 Texan families and veterans will receive letters in the mail notifying them of the donations that have been made to clear their medical expenses and debt. “If you can imagine what those people this week will be feeling when they receive the letter that you sent them saying their debt is paid,” Hayes said on Easter Sunday. “I pray 100-fold that [is how] you would feel in reading the letter He wrote to you in the book of John 19:30. ‘Hey, your debt of sin is paid. You are covered.’”
Advertising Of The Future?
Going back to what was mentioned above, this is an excellent way to advertise, in a non-direct way. No doubt this amazing act of generosity and kindness is garnering the media attention it deserves. There is no doubt in my mind that other churches and congregations will see this and it will spark and inspire them to consider doing something similar, helping those in need and thus drawing people to their church who genuinely want to help others.
The old ways of doing things are slowly drifting away, a new wave of compassion, empathy and kindness is sweeping over the planet. Don’t forget,
“One small act of kindness, no matter how small is ever wasted.” –Aesop