The goal of any Purpose Driven Church is to intentionally and continuously balance all five purposes – Worship, Fellowship, Discipleship, Ministry, and Mission. Out of this discipleship process comes PEACE, the missions expression of the local church serving the community and the world.
This powerful church-to-church movement of local churches mobilizes members to transform communities and reach unreached, unengaged people groups.
As the pioneer for The PEACE Plan, Saddleback Church in Southern California has committed to help tackle the five global giants—spiritual emptiness, self-serving leadership, poverty, disease, and illiteracy—through PEACE: Plant churches, Equip servant leaders, Assist the poor, Care for the sick, Educate the next generation.
While all of Saddleback’s 19 campuses are living out expressions of local and global PEACE, it’s their Hong Kong campus that has fully embraced the “A” goal by launching the PEACE Box Campaign. This annual spring event shares God’s love to people in need, while also mobilizing members through serving. Now in its fifth year, their community campaign serves 15,000 low-income families with PEACE boxes.
“We wanted to connect the powerful to the powerless,” says Saddleback Hong Kong pastor, Stephen Lee. “Through this campaign, we can unite these two worlds and spread hope to people in need.”
As the campuses’ signature event, the campaign started as a means to bridge the church with the 200,000 local households of the community. Each year, one month before Easter, empty boxes are distributed with a list of needs according to age and gender.
Each family is encouraged to participate by filling each box with approximately $20 worth of gifts. Every box is different and unique, featuring a variety of gifts including a booklet on The Purpose Driven Life.
Painted on the outside of each box is a Bible verse and the words “You are loved.” Packages are filled with a variety of gifts prepared by the Saddleback Hong Kong church family as well as other local churches and nonprofits.
Once filled with items, boxes are returned to Saddleback Hong Kong to later be transported to the area’s main shopping mall. The weekend before Easter, nearly 300 volunteers spend 10-15 hours constructing an enormous box tower in the center of the mall lobby.
“It’s amazing to see it all come together, from individual boxes to a gigantic tower,” says pastor Stephen. “From the point of supply to delivery, each box involves at least five people. This means that approximately 75,000 people are somehow impacted by the PEACE box campaign from start to finish. It’s really mobilizing a lot of people.”
In total, about $300,000 worth of gifts are donated to low income families. In addition to Saddleback’s members, more than 20 schools and 30 churches are part of the giving process. This annual outreach has touched countless lives, including one family who travels from England to Hong Kong every year to participate in the event. Pastor Stephen recalls other stories of life change, ranging from kids who received boxes at the children’s cancer hospital, to a new family who joined Saddleback after seeing the box tower at the shopping mall.
“It’s not the things inside the boxes that matter,” says Pastor Stephen. “It’s about reaching the lonely, the sick, and the poor — and bringing a smile and laughter to their faces. Plus, so many of our own members are happy and energized to be part of something that mobilizes the church and builds great memories in the process.”
To learn more about the Purpose Driven movement and PEACE, visit pdchurch.flywheelstaging.com.