At Christ Church I put an announcement in the church bulletin: “The Career Group will begin on Sunday evening… To qualify be 20-30 and single.” The first time we met several things were immediately obvious:
- Lots of singles wanted to get together.
- The educational, vocational, financial mix was huge! From the Keebler Cookie Executive to the man who kept the shelves stocked in the grocery store to the elementary school teacher.
- As we talked about what the group would like to do, four things were evident:
- The group wanted to meet weekly – speakers and discussions on a variety of subjects.
- Some would like serious Bible study.
- The group wanted a continual flow of activities they could do together.
- Without financial assistance, a few would not be able to afford what others would like to do.
I went to the Senior Minister and asked if funds were available for the group and if there could be additional funds to make it possible for everyone to participate in every activity. The answer: neither was available. He went on to say that, in life, there will always be people who could not participate in all of the activities. End of discussion.
Brent and Marcie Cameron knew that I was heading up the new career group. Soon after the group began, Brent said “Chuck, I have money, but I do not know where the needs are. You don’t have money, but you know where the needs are. Just let me know how much you need.” We talked about the needs of some of the people in Career Group…he smiled and repeated “just let me know how much you need”. Brent was a VP of McDonalds Hamburgers. Every McDonald’s outside of the US was under his jurisdiction.
I explained to The Career Group that a member of the church was making money available so everyone could participate in all of the group’s activities. If they had a need, let me know. When we went for a day to the Michigan Dunes State Park, or to eat in a Greek Restaurant, or to attend a concert, we could all go. I do not remember ever feeling that a person was taking advantage of the available financial help. So far as the group was concerned…we were The Career Group – one group!!! The group soon grew to about 100 singles meeting each Sunday evening – and for “specials” on a semi-regular basis.
I cannot remember how the “mechanics” worked. Sally Jo and I both remember that we frequently had Cameron money in our checking account. The checks were made payable to me, and therefore their gifts through me to the members of the group could not have been income tax deductible. The Cameron’s checks never needed to be large, but what a huge difference their giving made for everyone in the group.
Brent and Marcie understood that they were members of the Body of Christ, His Church, and they found joy in this fact: “if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously” – Romans 12:8
Brent and Marcie Cameron lived In Partnership With God. “Just let me know how much you need.”