Challenge Your Church
While the "I Was a Stranger" Challenge can be done by individuals, our hope is that local churches will use it as a discipleship tool. The Challenge is designed to be flexible: the forty days of Scripture reading and prayer can start whenever would best fit your church's schedule, and you can either challenge the entire congregation to participate (perhaps in a weekend service) or use it for a smaller group within the church, such as an Adult Education class, a small group, a service team, or a youth group.
If you'd like for your church to take the challenge, here's everything you'll need:
- If you're not in a position to make the Challenge happen at your church, start by talking to your pastor or another leader to ask them to consider joining the Challenge.
- Decide on a date that your church's forty-day Challenge will begin.
- Order bookmarks to distribute: you can either download the digital file for free and print them yourselves, or you can order pre-printed bookmarks and have them shipped to you.
- If appropriate for your church, you may want to download the 2-minute "I Was a Stranger..." video, featuring nationally-prominent Christian leaders reading the words of Matthew 25:31-46, and show it in your weekend service before a pastor or leader explains the Challenge to the congregation
- Explain the Challenge and distribute bookmarks.
- At the end of the forty-day Challenge, you may want to hold a special corporate time of prayer and worship. You might even coordinate this prayer service with other local churches participating in the Challenge. If you wanted to get out the message that your church believes we should think and respond to immigrants in ways consistent with biblical values, you might consider inviting the local media to cover the event. If you'd like help, you can download our Guide to Working with the Press kit.