One of our Mantras as a church is Empty the Jar
. It comes from the story in Luke 7 of the woman who anointed the feet of Jesus. Her response to His presence was to worship Him in a way that made others uncomfortable and to give generously to Him in a way that seemed impractical.
We want to empty the jar by being a church that responds to the presence of Jesus by giving generously to Him in order to advance the Gospel, help the most vulnerable among us, and impact our local communities. Through the special Empty the Jar end-of-year offering announced last December, we’ve been able to answer the Holy Spirit’s call to reach out to people in the name of Jesus in a number of unexpected and unique ways.
Last December, Southeast gave toward relief efforts following deadly tornadoes in Western Kentucky. The Empty the Jar Fund also helped complete construction of a permanent home for our Bullitt County Campus that opened in May, and is being used to build an Emergency House that will provide victims of human trafficking a place of refuge and healing right here in our region.
In addition, God presented each of our campuses with the following local missions initiatives that are literally transforming their communities.
Revitalization of a School Playground
With Empty the Jar funding, Binet School—which serves students who have a combination of disabilities that can result in significant learning, developmental, or behavioral problems—is highly anticipating brand-new playground equipment that will greatly benefit the needs of their students. Until the new equipment is installed, Southeast continues to be in prayer for all of our public schools, their teachers and volunteers, and, most especially, the children they serve.
Development Planning of a Facility for Young Adults Aging Out of Foster Care
Childplace Family Services has secured an architectural firm to begin their master planning phase on a new housing project for young people aging out of the foster care system. In this phase, which Empty the Jar is helping fund, they are working to determine the best use for their 12-acre property and selecting the best developers to construct the project. Upon completion, the new housing will provide a safe place for their residents to land after turning 18, where they can establish a firm foundation before entering their next stage of life.
Support of Counseling Service Serving Adults Post-Incarceration
Prodigal Ministries provides residential housing and aftercare programs for formerly incarcerated men and women transitioning back into society and family. The contribution from the Empty the Jar Fund will allow their new counseling ministry to more effectively care for and treat their clients in a wholistic way. Additionally, with their counseling ministry being open to the public, the entire Prodigal Ministries organization is positioned to deepen their sustainability, while also providing an enriching resource to the entire community.
Building a Resource Center to Serve the Homeless
The combination of funds from Empty the Jar as well as many volunteers from the Southeast community helped Exodus Family Ministries build out their homeless service facility. This will be a place for homeless people near the Southwest Campus to receive resources that otherwise were only available in other parts of Louisville.
LA GRANGE CAMPUS
Furnishing a New Emergency House for Human Trafficking Victims
In addition to Southeast’s significant contribution to overall construction costs, the La Grange Campus contributed Empty the Jar funds specifically to help furnish the Emergency House, providing victims of human trafficking a safe, inviting, and healing place.
Building a Home for a Family in Need
Over several workdays that engaged the congregation and other volunteers, the Elizabethtown Campus partnered with Habitat for Humanity to finish building the home for a single mom and her young daughter, dedicating it in late July. A home of their own is a generational game changer for a family.
Support Urban Garden Expansion
In 2016, Gate of Hope Ministries developed Hope Community Farm, where East African refugee families in the Louisville area could use their farming skills to provide for their families. In 2021, they lost the lease to the farm, but the Prospect Campus was able to help them purchase and move to a new farm. Teams of volunteers are continuing to aid in the relocation and relaunch of Hope Community Farm.
CHAPEL IN THE WOODS CAMPUS
Building Renovations for an Adult Day Care Facility
Chapel in the Woods Campus committed to update an adult day and memory care center in partnership with Christian Care Communities. This unit is primarily used as respite for the caregivers, so part of the funds donated will go toward scholarships for those in need.
SHELBY COUNTY CAMPUS
Expansion of an After-School Program for Elementary Children
Father’s Love has used Empty the Jar funds to expand their after-school program for elementary-age children in Shelbyville. This program is providing academic enrichment and life skills classes, all in a Christ-centered environment. Volunteers from the Shelby County Campus are able to serve some of Shelbyville’s most impoverished children through this program.
BULLITT COUNTY CAMPUS
Remodel of a Suite for Family Services and Vehicle Purchase
Sunrise Children’s Services was able to use their Empty the Jar funds to remodel a suite for family services. The space can now accommodate counseling appointments, play therapy, and provide a space for families to ultimately gain hope and healing. Funds were also used to purchase a vehicle to help serve clients in a variety of ways.
SOUTH LOUISVILLE CAMPUS
Meeting the Needs of Local Schools
The South Louisville Campus has started building relationships with four nearby schools, including an elementary school, two middle schools, and a high school. Through the Empty the Jar Fund, they are able to identify several specific financial needs at each of these schools, including a project to beautify the landscaping and plans to purchase a new sign for one location. These funds are opening a door for the South Louisville Campus not only to meet needs, but to initiate more intentional relationships with both students and faculty at each school.
Support Services for Immigrant and Refugee Families
Refuge International, through Empty the Jar funding, was able to hire a full-time staff to research, create, maintain, and train others with an online resource guide for immigrants in Louisville, allowing them to connect to many ministry and secular services. This online resource helps many families navigate various aspects of life, from language learning to school registration.
Purchase of a Passenger Van
So many in the SE Beechmont congregation are involved regularly with Hope Collaborative. Empty the Jar funds were dedicated for Hope Collaborative’s Hope Place program to purchase a 15-passenger van to safely transport kids to after-school programming and Summer experiences.
Equipment Purchases for Arkansas Church Plant
Empty the Jar funds made it possible for Hope City Church in Springdale, Arkansas to purchase audio and video equipment needed for Sunday services. Because of this, Hope City was able to launch as a church and provide weekly weekend worship opportunities. SE Online leaders were able to take a mission trip to partner with the church in August.
We’re so thankful that God has blessed us with opportunities to respond to His generosity with our own in order to share His love with those in our communities and beyond.
Take the challenge: Find one way you can express extravagant generosity toward someone you encounter.