Offering Practical Help: Christ Church in Illinois

In 2010 a single mom with a bad back and an uncooperative landlord needed help with her apartment. Three men from Christ Church in Lake Forest, Ill., heard about her situation and came to fix windows, repair light fixtures and hang cabinet doors. That day, the HOGS (Hands of God Serving) ministry was born.

Today the group of 40 to 50 members meets one Saturday a month and performs practical acts of service in their community. The single mom, whose back recovered, now volunteers with the group.

HOGS founder Phil Manley described a mission trip to Acuña, Mexico, where he participated in building two homes in a week’s time and was left with a desire to serve more.

“It was a very spiritually moving week for me. I felt an incredible closeness with God and our team,” Manley says. “HOGS grew out of a desire to serve on a more continual basis.”

The church uses word-of-mouth to let people know about the ministry and each month single moms, the elderly and those “out of work and down on their luck” fill out a form requesting assistance.

A leadership team decides which projects to take on and team members do everything from painting walls to installing flooring to minor electrical repairs. Some members are skilled tradesmen while others provide basic labor or help facilitate.

“We all need to tap into our giftedness,” Manley says, “and whatever that is, we need to use it to help others.”

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