Benevolence Ministries Show That You Care
Providing a benevolence ministry program in your community not only shows that you care about those around you, but also helps to carry out God's instruction to us through His Word.
Mat 19:21 - Jesus said to him, If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in Heaven. And come, follow Me.
Gal 2:10 - Only they asked that we remember the poor, which very thing I was eager to do.
Mat 11:5 - the blind receive their sight, and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear; the dead are raised, and the poor have the gospel proclaimed to them.
When people's physical needs are met, they are better able to listen to what you have to say. Benevolence ministry is at the heart of service to your community.
Food Pantries, Clothes Distribution, etc. is an easy way to get started with helping those around you who are in need of the basics of life.
One word of caution!
Be careful that your benevolence ministry focuses on fulfilling spiritual needs. It is very easy to simply become a social program, reinforcing the welfare mentality of the world.
How can I avoid this pitfall?
Put some sort of assessment system in place. Have the people who are coming for resources fill out an information form. Assess their need and provide accordingly. Acts Chapter 6 is a great place to start for an example.
The early church placed Deacons in place, in order to fairly assess the needs of the people and to distribute the goods. This insured that people were not taking advantage of the generosity of the other church members and also provided a way to genuinely minister the Gospel to those who were in need.
Notice in the verses above, that in addition to their physical needs being met, the Gospel was being preached.
Once you have a system in place, it would also be a good idea to go to the local schools, particularly the elementary schools in your community, to let the counselors and administrators know that you have resources available for the families that they know are in need. They can share needs with you on a confidential basis.
This will also help in building relationships that can lead to more open doors of ministry in the community.
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