The Kingdom Assignment by Denny and Leesa Bellesi
Rev. Denny Bellesi preached an ordinary stewardship sermon to his congregation at the Coast Hills Community Church in Aliso Viejo, Calif. But he followed the sermon with an extraordinary call to action: he handed 100 members of the congregation $100 each. Bellesi told these volunteers that the money was not theirs, but God’s, and that they needed to “invest” it in some way that would build God’s kingdom. In February, the volunteers reported back to a standing-room-only church (and, via a Dateline NBC segment, to millions of viewers), describing how the money had been spent to transform lives, build churches, feed the hungry and comfort the sick. More than anything, this book hammers home the message that the volunteers saw their $100 bills being multiplied into thousands as total strangers offered more money to help them undertake their charity projects. As in the film Pay It Forward (which is what gave Bellesi the idea in the first place), one good turn generated another and another. The book, a collaboration with his wife, Leesa, is not elegantly written, but then it doesn’t need to be; the story itself is front and center here. These invigorating real-life stories offer excellent examples of Christian faith in action, as church members were forced to leave their comfort zones and search for ways to bless others in the community.
I can’t say enough about this book. The first time I read it I was so inspired by the trust and, no that isn’t the right word, the FAITH, Denny Bellesi put in to his congregations hands. He gave it all to God and the result is this book of amazing testimonies.
I would not look at this book as a “look at me, look what I did” style of read. For me, this book was a fine example of faith and what God can do. The stories that fill these pages are of what happened as the result of this faith – and even in some cases, lack there of. What really touches me heart is how many went out with the $100 and by sharing with others their Kingdom Assignment, how many wanted in… wanted to be a part of something bigger. This book is the result of a Kingdom movement that has always effected me like someone pushing an ON button. I feel charged up and get a little teary eyed when I imagine the possibilities of what could happen, what would happen, if each of us looked at the world this way.
This book has crossed my path several times now in my life. Many years ago while researching information on the movie Pay It Forward I came across this book. I ordered it, read it – and loved it. LOVED IT. Raved about it and passed my copy on to a friend at work to read.
Flash forward several years and it is 2005 and my Pastor had read about this on line and does this at out church. I seriously got chills as he handed out envelopes with $50 in them to go out and build the Kingdom. I came home so excited to look at the book, but couldn’t find my copy. When I remembered that I had loaned it out I called the co-worker (who no longer worked with me) only to find out that she has passed it on to someone else.
I ordered two copies that day, one for me, and one for my Pastor. He loved it, and after I read the book again I loaned out my copy to someone who also was excited to read it.
Flash Forward again. I read The Power Of Half recently and the book reminded me of The Kingdom Assignment. I go through my books looking for my copy ad then remember – oh yeah, I loaned it out. But to who? I don’t remember… and so – I order two books again. Why two? We will get to that.
Both The Power of Half and The Kingdom assignment get my heart pumping a little faster with the possibilities. I wanted to review this book now, because I love this book and because I have an idea brewing….. an idea that I will reveal on April 1st.
I purchased my copies through third parties through Amazon