Four Aspects of Lampstand Ministries
There are four aspects to Lampstand Ministries: food ministry, service projects, mentoring and consulting. Working hand-in-hand with other Christian resources in Chicago, Lampstand Ministries provides educational opportunities, support groups and retreats, job-placement services, mission trips and service projects for other outreach organizations looking to support people in need on the streets of Chicago.
Lampstand Ministries operates a once-a-week food ministry each Saturday, called “My Brother’s Kitchen.” Serving 400 people a week and, ultimately, 26,000 meals a year, this is a Christ-centered event where the Gospel is presented. Lampstand also partners with other food kitchens and food pantries, which equals about $400,000 worth of food from different grocery stores.
Lampstand also operates “My Brother’s Kitchen on Wheels” which is a traveling grill trailer for hosting parties, outreach events in parks and churches, as well as hosting concerts in Douglas Park. All food events are Christ-centered, and the Gospel is presented.
Lampstand hosts more than 30 service projects a year with groups from all over the country. A recent example is developing Christian affordable housing, where Lampstand buys and rehabilitates apartment buildings. The ministry also has two gardens and four parks, as well as a sports complex in partnership with YMEN.
“We have a place they can stay for a day or a week,” says Langkamp. “One of the big new projects is Christian affordable housing, where we rehabilitate apartment buildings, providing furniture and Christian superintendent. We have 12 units. We’ve seen great success with this. The people we invest in are always ‘behind the eight ball’, and if they are in a safe environment, they can live and eventually thrive.”
Every Lampstand service project works with multiple urban partners, to involve as many people as possible.
Lampstand mentors young people, often in partnership with the Young Men’s Educational Network (YMEN), in a process continuing throughout their lives. Struggling young people are taken under the wing of Lampstand staff, and provided with guidance and fellowship. Working with other mentors, Lampstand offers a continuing stream of support. Troubled children are used to people going in and out of their lives; the team approach to mentoring is more effective and keeps kids from slipping through the cracks.
Since beginning the program, the mentored children have grown to become leaders in their own ministries and with Lampstand partners.
“We’ll refer kids to YMEN or others, and we all stick with the kids for the rest of their lives,” says Langkamp. “My mentoring goal is to invest in young people as much as we can, because they will succeed us.”
Lampstand consults with many churches and ministries, helping them put together project game plans, with the guidance from the Holy Spirit. Lampstand provides them with resources, like food, clothing, furniture and volunteers. Lampstand interacts with a giant network of urban ministries, bringing them together to make a real difference in peoples’ lives.
“Churches and other organizations come to us with a project God has put on their hearts, and we’ll help them complete that with volunteers, finances, food, building supplies and knowledge,” says Langkamp. “We’ve been putting together game plans, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, for 20 years now.”