Andy and Karin Green have been Covenant Members of the Flower Mound campus for over seven years. In 2013, they started Love2540, a ministry that serves the local community by meeting physical and spiritual needs.
So, first, what is Love2540? What is the purpose of the ministry?
A: The mission of Love2540 is to connect biblical communities to the needs of the local community, meeting both physical and spiritual needs. We’re connectors, as we like to say, a mechanism to connect Home Groups from The Village to families in need in Flower Mound, Lewisville and the surrounding areas.
Where did the name come from?
A: The name Love2540 is the marrying of the Greatest Commandment in Matthew 22, to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” with a passage in Matthew 25, ending in verse 40:
“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me’” (Matt. 25:35-40).
The ultimate goal is truly about Jesus and showing these families that He loves them and desires a relationship with them.
What led you to the idea for Love2540?
K: In 2012, we went through the process to adopt a 16-year-old girl from the Ukraine. After months of waiting, we finally traveled to the Ukraine to finalize the adoption, only to have her change her mind and abruptly end the process. After returning from the Ukraine, we felt compelled to serve and realized we didn’t necessarily have to go 6,000 miles to do so. We could do that in our own backyard. I called the local elementary school in Flower Mound, and they referred me to Communities in Schools, and that is really where it all began. We were just a family wanting to connect with some local needs, provide where we could and pray over these families, telling them that God sees them exactly where they are and loves them.
Tell me a little more about the connection with Community in Schools.
K: We partner with Communities in Schools (CIS) North Texas, primarily focusing on Lewisville ISD. In many of the schools within the district, CIS has a dropout prevention program staff working with students and their families to address their individual needs and ensure access to intensive services necessary to eliminate barriers to the students’ academic success. As cases arise, CIS will refer that family to Love2540. The family has to sign a document saying that they’re willing to be served by a faith-based partner. Once we connect with the CIS staff to learn a bit more about the family’s situation, we then begin the process to connect the family with a Home Group.
How did Home Groups enter into the ministry model for Love2540?
K: The Lord was giving us the opportunity to live out The Village’s mission of gospel-centered service and gospel-centered community with the hopes of gospel-centered multiplication when we entered in with these families. But He also showed us that we could help so many more people if others got involved.
Because people are busy and time can be a deterrent from serving, we felt a prompting to see if we could ask Home Groups to “adopt” and walk alongside a family—helping to meet their needs, practical and spiritual. Not only did that distribute the time commitment among more people, but it also provided more resources in terms of giftings. One family in the Home Group might be able to help out financially, while another helps with budgeting skills. One might have connections for job opportunities, while another has time to take their kids to the movies and so on. It also provides the Home Group with an opportunity to be vulnerable. If there is someone in the Home Group who can relate to what the family is going through, God can use this opportunity to redeem and comfort. For example, if the mom suffers from depression, someone in the Home Group who also suffers or has suffered in the past can provide empathy while pointing the mom to Christ for help and hope.
We provide the Home Groups with language, ideas and resources. We also reset expectations if the group gets frustrated with the family and we coach the groups out of our own past experiences. We tell the Home Group, “Your goal isn’t to change the situation, it’s to show them Jesus by the way you’re treating them and loving on them when everyone else has given up on them.” The ultimate goal is truly about Jesus and showing these families that He loves them and desires a relationship with them. We never want those being served to feel like a project or like they are “less than.”
How do you pair Home Groups with families?
A: We try to match them geographically. Most of the needs come from five or six schools in the Lewisville area, and it’s hard to be in someone’s life if they’re not in your proximity. We ask the people in the Home Group to get into the routine of incorporating the family into their day-to-day. If you’re at the grocery store, call and ask if they need anything. Maybe you’re going to the movie theater with your kids; ask the family to come, too. Ask them to come to church with you. Once you work that muscle of serving, it starts to become a habit.
What are some of the challenges of running Love2540?
K: One of the biggest issues is having enough groups to meet the needs of the community. I have families right now who need Home Groups. We have more than 100 Home Groups around here…we shouldn’t have an issue matching one with a family in need. Communities in Schools has plenty of families to refer to us, but we don’t have enough groups serving to match with them.
As the people of God, we’re called to weave gospel-centered service into the fabric of our lives.
Where do you hope to see Love2540 go in the next few years?
K: We would love to see the ministry grow to a point that we’re able to tell Communities in Schools, “Send us all the cases you have,” because we have enough Home Groups to cover it.
How can people get involved with Love2540? What do you need help with?
K: We would love to have more volunteers with specific skill sets. People who speak Spanish, who do A/C repair, car mechanics, dentists, pest control…we need those people to serve. The heart of Love2540 is to be out there serving; it’s more than just writing a check.
A: As the people of God, we’re called to weave gospel-centered service into the fabric of our lives. The beauty of Love2540 is that, because we’re connecting a family with an entire Home Group, it shouldn’t be a burden on any one person in the group. We just need more groups to step up to the plate.
You said that often you don’t get to see long-term fruit of the ministry; can you share a story where you have?
A: We started to serve a single mom who needed some support as she was trying to find a job. She started coming to The Village with us, and then she started coming on her own with her boyfriend, later her fiance. We were invited to their wedding, and it was so rewarding just to see the transformation in her life. She still talks about how we were there for her, how much it meant to her. She and her family are still at The Village. They want to start serving in the church and are going through Covenant Membership. In fact, her husband will be baptized later this month. We prayed, “God, let us see fruit come from this,” and now He has given us one we see every week at church.