Yes You Can
Your church can easily start or expand a creative ministry to its needy neighbors.
ARE CHURCH BUILDINGS MORE IMPORTANT THAN PEOPLE?
A Good Model
The lay staffed St. Vincent de Paul Society is a good model. Many Roman Catholic parishes have an active group. (Their model is easy to adapt to any church.) These lay workers visit in homes in pairs, then later in committee, determine who to help and how much to give toward needs. The money they disperse may be from an 'alms for the poor box' or from special offering envelopes.
The pastor's time is not required in this lay- managed committee. They have charge over the money and the decision making process. At some parishes a deacon is the 'spiritual advisor.' to the group. Generally one hour per week is spent in looking at cases and making decisions.
Annual gifts from one church totaled $32,000. This was from the Alms for the Poor box in the church foyer.