At the end of a worship service, every family was handed an envelope. Enclosed was a five-dollar bill and instructions:


Take this $5 combined with whatever gifts or talents God has given you and use it for one act or several random acts of kindness toward someone you would not normally help or even know. Give a gift. Bake a cake. Buy several cards and mail them. Put gas in your car and drive someone to a doctor’s appointment. In four weeks, we will share stories of how we have helped others in the name of Christ. Let’s practice what we preach by simply performing a random act of kindness to another.


What would you do with the $5?


The Bible certainly supports acts of kindness. Here are some examples:


  • There was a believer… she was always doing kind things for others and helping the poor. (Acts 9:36)
  • (The voice of God… angry!) “There is no faithfulness, no kindness, no knowledge of God in your land. (Hosea 4:1)
  • (Jesus) “If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else?” (Matthew 5:48)


In other words, acts of kindness tell the world what kind of people we can be. Would you like another example? Think of two people who deeply influenced your life in a positive way. Why do you remember them? Was it something they said? Probably not! More than likely it was their attitude of kindness and generosity toward you.


When I was a student returning to college, my car overheated near a small town on the way. It was Sunday and everything was closed. I was stranded, hungry and broke. I had no choice but to knock on a nearby door and ask for help. An elderly couple answered the knock, graciously invited me inside for dinner and then called a neighbor to fix the car. This simple act of kindness and generosity by two strangers had a lasting impact on me. Can we do no less?


Four weeks after receiving the $5 we met again to hear the results of the challenge:


A schoolteacher bought special paper and ribbon, and then used her computer to make beautiful Bible verse bookmarks to give to every resident of a local nursing home.


One woman made homemade loaves of bread and distributed them to neighbors.


A visitor from another state went home and filled a box with paper towels, trash bags, tea and coffee and gave it to a friend preparing to move to a new house.


Another created beautiful floral wreaths and distributed them in a nursing home.


Someone bought a book and mailed it to a sick friend.


Everyone had a story to tell during the worship service as we celebrated and learned a valuable lesson. In addition to helping others, we felt better about ourselves. God blessed us with a challenge that will not soon be forgotten — All for just $5.


What about you? What could you do with $5? How could you help a friend, a co-worker, a stranger? Challenge yourself, your family or your church. Think of the possibilities!


Or… copy this message and enclose $5 with each copy and then give them away to friends, co-workers, even strangers.


Will you accept the challenge? If you do, please let me know. Email me at


Now if every one of you accepts this challenge — Wow! That’s a lot of ministry.