When individuals and families experience economic hardship, our church and our ministries have an opportunity to meet needs in a unique way. Other agencies and organizations will probably have deeper financial resources, however Christian disciples understand that we can offer more than just financial security.
The policy in the link below shows our process for discerning when God has called us to give to an individual in need, and how to do it.
However the policy is only that. Our policy. I dedicate this page to a Bible Study that influenced the policy.
There are dozens of passages in scripture that we could reference to demonstrate that we (Christians) are expected and commanded to care for the poor and needy. For the sake of brevity, I will only give some direct examples.
- Deuteronomy 15:7-8, 10-11
- Psalm 41:1
- Matthew 19:21
We also have a clear command to work for our living and provide for ourselves and our families.
- 2 Thessalonians 3:10-15 If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. 11 For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. 12 Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living. 13 As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good. 14 If anyone does not obey what we say in this letter, take note of that person, and have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed. 15 Do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.
With all of this in mind, clearly we must be ready to serve the needy, and it is not our place to consider why they are needy. At the same time, we would be poor stewards of the resources God has trusted us with if we squandered the tithe by enabling unhealthy or lazy behavior. We do well to give what has been trusted to us, and we do well to realize that there are those who may ask for money who would not benefit from receiving it.
Any church learns quickly that we become the target of scammers. There are almost weekly calls coming in to our office from people who think of us as an easy target.
At the same time, our church has an aggressive outreach strategy and is generous with our resources whenever it can serve God’s eternal purpose.
Our policy, when applied, ensures that nobody who needs care gets missed, and that all of our resources are spent wisely by good stewards.
Feel free to use this policy for your own church or ministry. For those of you who are in our church family, please consider these details as you lead your area of ministry or provide personal care on your own.