Knowing How to Help: Forming an Outreach Relationship
Every pastor, staff minister, or church secretary knows the discomfort of answering the phone at church and being asked for money. When the phone rings and someone is asking for financial assistance, how should the church respond? This paper will attempt to answer that important question. Even though it is an important question, it’s not a simple one to answer. In the physical realm, there are questions as to whether the church should actually provide monetary aid to the person who just happened to call that day. And if the church ought to, what is a good way to do so? Of course, the church does not exist solely to meet a person’s physical needs, but to help out with very real spiritual needs as well. Is the caller contacting the church to request a law/gospel presentation? Likely not, but it’s a fantastic opportunity for the church to form a relationship with an individual seeking aid. The paper will conclude by analyzing Biblical and church-historical examples of churches that were able to develop constructive ways to provide both material and spiritual care, with the ultimate goal of providing churches with thoughtful and meaningful ways to reach those who seek aid.