Bridging the gap
A Ministry Of Compassion
To needy neighbors

    A printable version

Helping even with portion of a utility bill can give hope and encouragement,
The primary needs of the working poor are money for rent, utilities, car repairs, and prescriptions -  Not Groceries.

Most of the poor are doing the best they can within their own limitations. Often they desperately need a friend, someone who has Christ's love in his heart. 
Many of the poor are not street people, but disabled and elderly people. Most are not wasteful, but those who are, need our help, not judgment. Others early on have made bad decisions, which set the course of their lives. 
If they see no hope of escaping the trap they are in, it may be that only a patient, loving friend could really help them recover.
Who could you help out of the trap?



WE SERVE HIM WHEN WE SERVE OTHERS.


"It's not inappropriate 
to ask 'busy church members' to prayerfully re-vise their agenda so they have time to help desperate strangers."

 

The St.Vincent de Paul

AN EXCELLENT MODEL FOR CHURCHES CLICK TO READ


A Home Support Group
Many poor people find it difficult, or uncomfortable, to attend the normal church functions. 
Be creative—offer to lead a small support group at one of their homes. This is especially appropriate for an elderly person, or a disabled person. However, others who feel socially uncomfortable may also prefer this.

Relieve The Church secretary
Using Your Home Computer
As your church's ministry to the poor grows, a parishioner with a home PC can help
 

  • Develop an information intake form. (ask us)

  • Keep detailed client information on a database.  

  • Write personal letters to clients. 

  • Make labels or

  • Print envelopes for the compassion ministry

  • Publish a quarterly newsletter to mail to the needy people your church is serving. 

  • Personal letters to those who have been served is another personal touch – a way to convince them of CHRIST'S LOVE. Some poor families seldom receive a friendly, first class letter.   

  • Compose a quarterly insert for the church bulletin detailing your church's ministry to poor .      

Your Church Can Develop A Ministry To The Poor 

Identifying Needs

Once you have decided to initiate or expand your compassionate ministry, the next step is to locate people in need. A neighborhood canvas in a poor section will quickly identify needs. At the beginning select just a few blocks in which to work. Or select an apartment house. 

No need to make it a massive effort at first. In a small geographic area even six or eight volunteers could meet a few dozen new people. As this group develops it's skill and a deeper compassion, expect other workers to be drawn in

Just Love Them

One church went to an obviously needy area and workers went door to door to determine who could use groceries. Later they returned with food, and offered to help in other ways. Their intent was to be very friendly, smile a lot and to avoid any confrontational conversation. "We're just here to see if you could use some food. Our church has some, and we'd really like to share it with you, if you need it."   

Christ in us shows guides us to creatively respond in love. We are no longer bound to stock solutions.

You may be an answered prayer.
Talk To A Utility Company

They may connect you with a special need. Recently the electric utility contacted In His Name Ministries about an elderly lady who was partially blind. Her utility service was stopped due to lack of payment. They could not justify keeping her service on, but a worker in the company's social service department decided to find help for her. Ministry friends who we informed sent checks to the utility office to pay her bill. One volunteer went out to meet the lady. She needed friendship very badly. Now someone will stay in contact with her to be sure she is properly cared for. 

Practicing Love

Face to face friendship or a telephone contact is an effective way to convincingly show God's love. A contact that has small beginnings may lead to amazing results. 
Involve several people to resolve situations of large need. Pull in various skilled, or gifted people to do specific jobs, such as plumbing, home repairs, car repairs, letter writing, or tutoring. Time given in this way is a good form of practicing God's love. To develop a catalog of member's skills, and talents pass out an "inventory sheet." It's not inappropriate to ask "busy church members" to prayerfully re-schedule activities so they have time to help desperate strangers. Sharing knowledge and financial resources with distressed people is God's way to create heavenly justice in an unjust world. It is unlikely that God will excuse someone for not loving his neighbor just because he was "too busy." 

Establish a church ministry using individuals with a heart for service. This group might consider themselves in continual training to learn how to rightly minister to the poor, and to involve other members in various aspects. The group could determine ways to meet needy people and discuss how to best help them. Ideally, they would pray together often about current individual situations. 

 

Make It Easy For The Church Secretary
When Persons Call The Church For Help

Consider the calls an opportunity that God is setting up. An effective way to respond to phone calls from a needy person: 
The receptionist would never say, "yes," or "no" or get into a conversation except to get the caller's name, and telephone number. Then tell the caller that someone will be in touch. No conversation about whether help is available, no attempt to "qualify" the caller. Then she would telephone, or e-mail a ministry committee person. That person would call from her home to obtain more details, get to know the person and determine how to proceed. A friendly unhurried conversation may in itself raise the hope of a despairing person. 

Because Of The Cross, we Can Love Others.
 


See When to Love, When to Evangelize


A Church Project
Making a commitment to help a disabled person.

 

TREASURE THAT LASTS


This piece originally written in 1993, was part of a four page mailing that was sent to people who inquired about a compassionate church ministry. In 1996, it was edited into a newsletter that was mailed to friends of IHNM and to 400 churches in central Oklahoma. 

Connecting the people of God to one another and to a hurting community