Good Reasons to Come Alongside to Help People in Need:
It's a way to show love.
Love your neighbor as yourself. (Matt. 22:39) -- My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. (Jn. 15:12-13) -- Serve one another in love. (Gal. 5:13)
It's a part of making disciples.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. (Matt. 28:19-20)
It's what body life is all about.
If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. (1 Cor. 12:26) -- Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. (Rom. 12:15) -- Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. (Gal. 6:2)
It's a reflection of the character of our Lord Jesus.
For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. (Mk. 10:45) -- Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus. (Phil. 2:4-5)
Who should be Involved in People Helping Ministry:
All believers are called to come alongside of other people to help in time of need.
Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. (Gal. 6:10) -- And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. (Heb. 13:16)
Yet, there will be those who, by virtue of their spiritual gifting, should focus their time, energy, and resources into helping ministries above and beyond that of other believers.
There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working but the same God works all of them in all men. (1 Cor. 12:4-6)
Click on links below to learn more about the various ways you can help people using the different spiritual gifts.
- Those with the gift of exhortation, for example, may be suited for counseling, crisis intervention, or support groups.
- Those with the gift of mercy may find themselves comforting those who grieve or providing relief assistance.
- Those with the gift of service may find themselves assisting people with their physical needs.
- Those with the gift of giving may provide finances or material goods to assist those with physical needs or to help in time of crisis.
- Those with the gift of hospitality may find themselves visiting the sick or shut-in.
As they come along side of people to help in practical ways, showing the love of Christ to those in need, they must realize that sometimes in addition to "deeds" of kindness, what people need is for someone to simply "be" there with them. People helpers would therefore do well to sharpen their listening skills regardless of what role they take in helping others.
Some people may not have the primary helping gifts but may nonetheless have a passion toward these areas or toward people in need. They could fulfill leadership or administrative roles within these ministries. They could be teaching and training others to do the work. They could be praying for the ministry. These believers may not be in regular contact with the people in need but still hold integral roles in ministry to them.
The People Helping Ministry Manual includes a simple spiritual gifts test that assesses only the gifts primarily used in a people helping ministry ... the five spiritual gifts mentioned above.