Agape Bags is a simple ministry to the homeless that Lori and I started in 2012. The heart behind the ministry is to help the homeless population of America by providing for basic essential needs and at the same time sharing the love of Christ.
Providing For Practical Needs
Agape bags are an extremely simple way to show God's love to people who are in need. Each gallon sized bag is filled with toiletry items such as tooth brushes, soap and deodorant - non-perishable foods like granola bars, dried fruit, drink mixes - and practical items like stamped envelopes, a first aid kit, and a water bottle. These items are small but they can be very helpful to someone that is struggling on the streets with few resources. One thing we also encourage people to include is a list of local resources. This could include food banks, shelters, homeless ministries, local Churches, and various other resources such as phone hotlines for employment, addiction, and crisis counseling.
The Gospel in a Bag
It's one thing to hand out a tract on the street, or stop someone to talk to them about Jesus. But when the gospel is presented in love (in this case along with a bag of helpful necessities), it provides a unique platform to share the love of Christ. We encourage everyone that is planning to create an Agape Bag to always include the Gospel message and a Bible.
One of the unique things that we also encourage you to do is to include your own testimony along with a personal gospel invitation written by you and included in each bag. It will take some time and thought to put together, but we strongly believe that personalizing each bag is what makes them special.
We realized right away with Agape Bags that Churches are our strongest advocates in this ministry. When we've had the opportunity to present at various Churches, the response has been tremendous.
As we travel around the country, our heart is to share Agape Bags with as many Churches as possible that have a desire to minister to the homeless. Our purpose is threefold:
- Help build awareness for homeless ministry and encourage the Church that everyone can make a difference even if it's just through handing out a simple bag to a homeless individual.
- Encourage individuals to make and distribute Agape Bags on their own. This is such an easy way to bless someone that is in need and get the Gospel out at the same time.
- Come alongside Churches and pre-existing homeless ministries to help them facilitate distribution of bags on a larger level. Agape Bags are a great activity for small groups and can be put together with minimal investment of time and resources.
To read more about the ministry of Agape Bags and how you can get started, visit our website: AgapeBags.org