As KINDLE launches the public phase of the Equip Serve Multiply campaign, we focus on this question for the month of February:

How did you KINDLE Experience (or connection) help you better equip Christ-like servant leaders?

Bill Karpenko shares an Equip story with us …

This is an ancient KINDLE story about how God equipped a fledgling non-profit organization, and its Founder, to gather the resources needed to launch and maintain its mission. It is a miraculous story of how a bunch of Directors of Christian Education (DCEs), their congregations, friends, and family joined together to raise close to a million dollars.

The founding KINDLE Board of Directors said, in the Fall of 1999, “As we launch KINDLE, let’s see if we can establish an endowment with gifts totaling $119,000.” Thankfully, God equipped them with courage, passion, and determination. The result: The Board put money to their words and they pledged $51,000 which, by the Spring of 2000, helped to meet that goal.

Driven by a blossoming vision, the Board then concluded, “We can do more,” which translated into an endowment goal of $491,000. In the Fall of 2000, another sign of God’s equipping grace and mercy emerged when conversations opened between myself, Board President Jack Giles, and key staff members of Aid Association of Lutherans (AAL)’s Fraternal Department. Impressed with KINDLE’s initial endowment effort, as well as its vision and mission for Lutheran congregations, AAL offered KINDLE a challenge grant of $25,000 to continue our growth as an organization.

Once again, God moved to equip KINDLE to raise the money for that goal. Enter my boss, Rev. Richard Maddox, the Vice President of Advancement at Valparaiso University. During 2001-2002, through a series of meetings, he equipped 12 DCEs from around the country to be a nationwide volunteer fund-raising team. They helped raise the $25,000 and, over the next four years, partnered with the Board and others to be instrumental in meeting four additional challenge grants that raised an additional $350,000. 

Who would have thought that such a bold goal of $491,000 could have not only been met, but doubled? In the process, as the dream came to life for KINDLE to be a national equipping organization focused on LCMS DCEs, AAL’s (now, Thrivent’s) act of equipping KINDLE with an endowment was a perfect way to support its own future focus of equipping and multiplication.

Fast forward 20 years later to today …

KINDLE is known for its wise and frugal use of its money as it seeks to “Optimize Finances” and equips its leaders to succeed. Thus, the spirit and determination that led to the equipping efforts of the first campaign in 1999-2000 lives on in its current leadership as the Equip Serve Multiply campaign continues to realize its goals and dreams. All praise be to God!

William O. Karpenko II


We would love to hear your KINDLE Equip story! You can submit your story any time via KINDLE’s campaign website or here:

We hope you will Equip yourself with God’s Word, prayer, and conversations that prompt you to consider a gift or pledge to KINDLE. You can commit that gift or your pledge here:

Next week, check KINDLE’s website and look for updates on the number of dollars and stories submitted in the first month of the Equip Serve Multiply campaign.

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