Challenge at the GLS Provokes a Leader to Discover His Holy Discontent
“How will you spend your one and only life?”
In 2005, Chet Decker heard this provoking question at the Global Leadership Summit, and it convicted him to do more for his community just outside of Detroit, Michigan. At the same time, his pastor at The Woods Church was also feeling convicted about needs in their community and talked with Chet about what to do. “You’re the missions guy. You should figure it out,” he said to Chet. And so began a process.
Soon they became aware of the great need for food in the area, and began researching what they could do to offer relief. “We found that one in five people were food insecure,” said Chet. “This means at some time during the month they would go without food. I could not believe that people were going hungry in the community where I live, work and worship. It became a matter of Holy Discontent.” Chet decided to start a non-profit serving the local community.
Working with a local food bank, and with the support of the local church, the district church, and the food bank, Chet launched Hope Center. This client-choice food pantry began meeting the need of hunger by serving the residents of Macomb County. As they grew, they also started to offer space at Hope Center to other service agencies, culminating in 18 different services offered, which include everything from healthcare to housing—all in one easily accessible location.
“In 2012 and 2013, we distributed food to more than 42,000 people each year,” Chet shares. “Though our food bank system has changed drastically over the past couple of years, Hope Center has evolved to continue its impact.”
Since it began, leaders have risen up to take over the ministry at Hope Center. “I am very pleased that Hope Center continues to flourish and am excited about the impact it has made in Macomb County,” said Chet. “I made a commitment to have a chaplain on site every hour that the food pantry was open. I am very happy that the chaplains at Hope Center were able to pray with literally hundreds of our clients each month and were able to lead many to faith in Christ.”
Like the challenge in 2005, Chet continues to be challenged by the talks during the Global Leadership Summit. “Each year, the GLS challenges me,” said Chet. “It is something different every year. It is the one thing that seems to get to me at every Summit. The GLS has and continues to have a very real impact on my leadership in ministry. It is on my calendar every year. I wouldn’t miss it!”