Why go to Home Depot or Amazon when you can help one of the least of these and Jesus instead?
OK, that statement was to the point, but let me back up a few years. A few years ago, I retired and joined the Jesus People USA community. Because I had a strong heart and history of activism for the homeless, I thought for sure my full-time volunteer position would be at our homeless shelter Cornerstone Community Outreach. God had other plans, however. Apparently, my experience and gifts for computers and the Internet were needed instead at Lakefront Supply, JPUSA’s largest mission-business.
I thought cool… I’ll work there for a while and then switch to the shelter. I started working with Tim Bock. JPUSA organizations tend to spurn hierarchy and titles, even though there is some, it’s modestly displayed. Tim is a leadership council member and top dog of the mission-business ministry. What in the world is mission business? I was about to find out.
Working with Tim to build an online presence was inspiring to say the least. Editing and reading his books more times than I can count really sealed the deal. Mission business is perhaps one of the most overlooked and greatest potential ministry areas than many other choices for ministry.
I believe the impact of a mission business could be incredibly large. Sorry, no visions but I do feel led, consider it prayerfully is all I ask. Needless to say, I changed my mind about mission-businesses, I’m in deep and for the long haul now.
Builders Warehouse is born
To make a long story short, a year ago and some, we decided to mothball our then current online infrastructure, and design an online store and website from the ground up with open source software and 100% internal human resources. No consultants or outside companies were involved. A couple months ago Builders Warehouse went live.
Builders Warehouse is a wholly owned arm of Lakefront Supply, Inc., a for profit corporation wholly owned by a non-profit. A church organization specifically, Jesus People USA is a member of the Evangelical Covenant Church denomination.
A common theme with Jesus People USA is shelter. Shelter for the JPUSA community (see Acts 2:44-46), shelter for the homeless, shelter for the elderly and shelter for building materials customers.
Builders Warehouse continues that tradition online and nationally. So far we have put on the site over 800 of the thousands of products we have in stock today, and more are added every working day. As we continue to grow, we will be expanding other building material categories in addition to what we currently have.
For me, a concept behind Builders Warehouse is like ‘The Parable of the Bags of Gold’ Matthew 25:14-30. What I am asking everyone who reads this is, don’t bury the blessings God gave you. To the point, and please excuse my directness, if you are going to make building material purchases, don’t do it with secular billionaires and corporations, do it with the body of Christ. Do it in a way that specifically helps the least of these.
330 people every day currently depend on our shelter for a place to live, many others for food, etc. 100 senior citizens count on our Friendly Towers for their senior housing, a commodity in great shortage. God has no limits, we are ready to go where God goes with this. You can help with no cost to you.
Please share in person and online Builders Warehouse with your friends, faith leaders and faith organizations. If everyone shared only one time in each of those 3 categories, I believe God is willing to do the rest.
We are not asking for donations or your sacrifice, only a chance to earn your business with competitively priced and needed products.
Consider it prayerfully, thanks!