Consideration & Compassion Pave the Way

Training Category: Outreach Ministry

Consideration & Compassion as Salt & Light in WorldYou are the salt of the earth. (Matt. 5:13)

You are the light of the world. . . . let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. (Matt. 5:14-16)

As believers we need to verbally witness, communicating the Gospel message, because “faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ” (Rom. 10:17). Consideration and compassion can pave the way. It’s a way of being the salt and light of Jesus in our communities and the world around us.

Learn How at: Consideration & Compassion Showcase God’s Love for People

Please Note: You’ll find the following content in the Outreach Ministry Manual.

How to be Salt and Light Through Consideration & Compassion:

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  • Give financially to your church’s benevolence fund, directly to unsaved individuals in need, and/or to a relief organization that has a good balance between meeting physical needs and sharing the good news of Jesus Christ. (Samaritan’s Purse is one example.) If you give directly to people in need, usually it is best to give a gift card to a grocery store or pay the actual bill rather than give the money. Unfortunately, money sometimes gets used differently than the expressed need.
  • Use vacation time to go to a devastated area due to war or natural disaster to help rebuild. Pray that in the process you are a witness of God’s grace.
  • Get involved in community projects with non-Christians. As you work side-by-side, helping to meet needs, pray that God would open doors for you to share about Jesus with not only those you serve but those with whom you serve.
  • If you can work in a clothing or food bank, use it as an opportunity to distribute tracts and/or Bibles along with the goods the people need.
  • Help an unsaved neighbor who is elderly, sick or shut-in to mow the lawn, shovel the snow, pick up groceries or medicine, drive them to the doctor’s office, etc.
  • Send a sympathy card with comfort verses from Scripture to an unsaved co-worker who is grieving the loss of a loved one. Offer to bring a meal or dessert or to watch their children. Attend the viewing or funeral service to communicate your support.
  • Help families of prisoners in practical ways. Your kindness to their families could also touch the hearts of the prisoners.
  • Help those in your community who have special needs, such as physical or mental disabilities, in practical ways.
  • Volunteer time at a rescue mission to serve meals to the homeless or do other tasks to help.
  • Before, during, and after helping in any of these or other ways, pray. Permeate all you do with intercessory prayer for the people that their greatest need, the spiritual, is also met. Pray for opportunities to share about Jesus with them, not just in deed but verbally as well.

Be realistic. The world does have many scammers who are only out to take advantage of the goodness of people. Be wise. Check out the need. Most importantly, pray for God’s will. If you truly believe God wanted you to help and you seem to have been taken advantage of, trust God to work it for the good (Rom. 8:28). Pray for the person and forgive them. Your reaction to their evil intent could soften their heart to the Gospel.

Means of Communicating the Gospel Message

Training Category: Outreach Ministry

Outreach Manual on Communicating the Gospel Message

We’ve already looked at the Mandate, Motivation, Messengers, and Message we have to communicate with others.

Read: Communicating the Gospel Message by Verbally Witnessing

Please Note: The following content on this page is included in the Outreach Ministry Manual. Click on the image or link to learn more.

How Do We Communicate the Gospel Message

Read through the New Testament and you will find a variety of means used in communicating the Gospel Message.

Matt. 28:18-20 – teach
How? — “go and make disciples of all nations”
Acts 1:8 – witness
How? — “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you”
2 Cor. 5:11-13 – persuade
How? — “not trying to commend ourselves to you” “For Christ’s love compels us”
2 Cor. 5:19-20 – appeal to
How? — “as though God were making his appeal through us”
2 Cor. 5:20 – implore
How? — “on Christ’s behalf”
2 Tim. 1:8 – testify
How? — “do not be ashamed”
2 Tim. 4:2-5 – preach, correct, rebuke, encourage
How? — “with great patience and careful instruction”

The Conclusion about Communicating the Gospel Message:

That the Good News of Jesus Christ must get verbally communicated is a given. The means by which it gets communicated is the variable. We must never lose sight of the message.

  • The Gospel must remain central and not be lost in the process of trying to be relevant.
  • The Gospel must remain intact and not be watered down.

When the Apostle Paul said “I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some” (1 Cor. 9:19-23) notice what he adapted. He said “I” have become all things, not the message. He used “all possible MEANS” but still preached the same Gospel message.

Church Characterized as Loving & Unified?

We live in a world too often filled with hateful words that are divisive and not very loving. Is the Church any different? We should be.

Yes, we must stand for truth. We should uphold God’s holy standards. As we’ve noted in the last couple of posts, holiness and truth should characterize us to the core of our being and not merely form a verbal code of ethics. But, when that happens, we will also be people who love.

A Church Characterized as Loving & Holy

Bible Verses That Couple Holiness and Love

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” (Col. 3:12)

The qualities mentioned in this verse characterize love (1 Cor. 13) and promote acceptance and unity, not condemnation and divisiveness. Clothing ourselves takes an intentional effort. We put thought into what we wear on our physical bodies. Why wouldn’t we do the same spiritually?

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Eph. 3:17-19)

Notice how Ephesians 3:17-19 identifies “all the Lord’s holy people” as “being rooted and established in love” but needing an even better grasp of the Lord’s love. We have a holy God who makes us holy in Christ Jesus but that’s not enough. To be “filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” we need to know and rely on His great, immeasurable love more and more — to lay hold of His love so as to appropriate it to our own lives.

Churches Characterized as Loving and Unified As Well as Holy and Filled with Truth Stick Out

When holiness and truth coupled with love characterize a church, our bonds with one another in Him become strong enough to withstand differences of opinions. We work through potentially divisive situations, unified because of who we are in Him. Because He is the Standard, we seek to get on page with Him, not push our personal agendas.

This is a church that stands out. This is a church that demonstrates the fullness of God’s character. This is a church with some appeal.

Think about it: If the Church can’t lovingly work with one another, how will those on the outside think they will be valued, loved, and not simply condemned?

Church Characterized as Holy & Full of Truth?

A Church Characterized as Holy & Loving

Would God characterize your church as holy and full of truth or morally compromising and wavering? As mentioned in the previous post, we need to measure ourselves against Him, not what we or the world defines as truth and holiness.

God’s character provides the standard for what is holy and true.

How interesting that Revelation 6:10 combines holiness and truth with sovereignty. — “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge …” The Sovereign One, the One who has the right to bring judgment on people, is characterized as holy and true. And so, “just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do” (1 Pet. 1:15). Let’s remember that it’s not up to us to define holiness … what is right and pure. God has already done that based on His own holy character.

Implication: We need to get to know this God in the fullness of who He is. — “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” (Prov. 9:10)

Churches characterized by His holiness bear witness to Truth as found in God.

God intends for the Church to be “the pillar and foundation of the truth” in this world (1 Tim. 3:15). Since truth grows out of the holy character of God, when we live out that holiness, we get beyond merely verbalizing truth to demonstrating it. Truth must be more than a moral code we teach and preach to the world around us. It must be a life we live to the very core of our being. Apologetics certainly has a part in being a witness but let’s not minimize the role of lifestyle. We authenticate the message with holy character that reflects God’s Light (Matt. 5:14-16).

Implication: We don’t have to clobber people with truth. We’re to “always be prepared to give an answer” but we’re to do it with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience” (1 Pet. 3:15-16). We speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:15) and live it out by being holy in all we do (1 Pet. 1:15).

More Implications for Churches Characterized as Holy and Full of Truth:

1) A church bound to truth and holiness as God defines it will also be humble and teachable.

We will never be holy on our own. We’re talking about God living His life in and through us to His glory. — “He has saved us and called us to a holy life — not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace.” (2 Tim. 1:9)

Consequently, we realize that we don’t know it all. We haven’t arrived. How can we say we have a corner on an infinite God. We will always be learning and growing.

2) A church concerned with upholding God’s truth and holiness will hold one another accountable.

When we understand that it’s all about God and showcasing Him, we want to make sure all we do is to His glory. We’ll put safeguards in place to help keep us focused on Him, not to be legalistic. People want a relationship with God, not the senseless red tape and politics of the church.

3) A church that’s holy will be a church that loves.

To be a church characterized by holiness and truth is to also be a church learning to love more and more. Notice how Colossians 3:12 says “God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved,” are to clothe themselves with “compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” – qualities of love. We’ll look at this point more in the next post.

Think about it: If little sets the Church apart from any other organization in terms of character, why not invest your time elsewhere?

What Qualities Characterize Your Church?

Many people feel disillusioned with the Church today. People without church backgrounds as well as those who grew up in the church are among the unchurched. Is it just that they feel the church is no longer relevant or do they sense something missing?

I’d like to suggest that we as the Church start by looking at the qualities that should characterize us. We must be concerned with who we are, not just what we do. People notice when who we are doesn’t match what we say.

Qualities That Ought to Characterize the Church

A Church Characterized by Qualities of Love & Holiness

  1. As a Church are we holy and full of truth or morally compromising and wavering?
  1. Does love and unity flow from us or do people experience condemnation and divisiveness?

As seen in 1 Peter 1:15-16 and 1 John 4:16, we need to measure ourselves against the right standard — God, not ourselves or the world. He defines truth, holiness, and love.

We, the Church, represent Him. If we aren’t presenting a God worthy of people’s devotion, why should they come worship with us?

The next two posts will look at the qualities listed above.

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Everybody Can Have a Part in Helping the Homeless

Everybody Has a Part Even in Ministry with the HomelessSometimes we do nothing about homelessness because we don’t know what real impact we as individuals, or even as a local church, can make. God never intended for one person to do it all. When everybody does their part, we can make a greater difference.

From Him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. (Eph. 4:16)

To know your part, start by identifying the spiritual gifts God has given you. Then look for ways to serve that fit your gifting.

Spiritual Gifts Help Identify the Part Everybody Can Have in Helping the Homeless

Below you will find suggestions for how people with different spiritual gifts might engage in ministry with the homeless. This isn’t intended to be all-inclusive but rather to provide ideas of what part people could have based on gifting. (Click on the name of the spiritual gift for a definition.)

Administration: This person could organize the details, scheduling and staffing of local outreach efforts or organize trips groups within the church will take elsewhere to distribute blankets, food, or personal items or perhaps to help rebuild homes destroyed by natural disasters.

Discernment: This person could help the church beware of pitfalls in such a ministry. For example, this person would see that handing money to a homeless person could very well go toward drugs or alcohol rather than food or clothing. This person would tend to differentiate between those who are first time in their homelessness due to a recent crisis and those who are more repeat or long-term due to choices, addictions, etc. Unless accompanied by other gifting, this person might not know the best way to solve these problems but should be consulted about potential issues that could be faced.

Exhortation: This person could come alongside of people who are homeless to help empower them by counseling or discipling them in financial management and life skills, GED preparation, employment assistance, etc.

Evangelism: This person could be in the forefront of efforts to take the gospel to homeless people where they are — street meetings, distributing tracts and Bibles, not just food and other items.

Faith: This person could hold up hope that where there is God, change is possible. This person could persevere in prayer for healing and breakthroughs in individuals’ lives.

Giving: This person might set aside a portion of his/her own non-essential spending to donate food, clothes, personal items, or blankets to be distributed to those who don’t have these basics. Or, perhaps financial giving would go to a rescue mission or other organization reaching out to homeless people. This person might also encourage the church to examine their ministry budget for where funds could be reallocated.

Helps: This person could come alongside administrators or leaders to make phone calls, type up schedules or promotional pieces, order materials needed, or anything else that would free up the leaders to keep planning and dealing with the bigger picture.

Hospitality: This person might open their home to those on the verge of homelessness until they are able to get back on their feet … thus preventing homelessness.

Knowledge: This person could pull together Scripture on homelessness and poverty to be used by others to promote an awareness of our God-given responsibilities. This person could research and develop referral lists of public benefits, legal assistance, and other community programs and ministries.

Leadership: This person could help the church look beyond their own backyard to the homeless situation in other communities and around the world by developing goals and ideas to partner with others in working toward bigger picture solutions.

Mercy: This person would want to go on outreach efforts to rub shoulders with the homeless, to show the love of Christ to them, by distributing coats, blankets, shoes, food, and personal items they might need.

Pastor: This person might become a chaplain to the homeless or at least have regular, on-going contact with the same homeless people so as to disciple or mentor them … perhaps setting up a regular coffee or breakfast (or any meal) meeting at a restaurant or other public setting to invest into their lives.

Prophecy: This person might tend to remind us of the reasons for homelessness and the need to address the deeper issues, to look at the big picture.

Service: This person could help behind the scenes in any way needed, like stocking food shelves, preparing meals, sorting clothes, etc. This could be through the person’s own church’s outreach efforts or at a rescue mission.

Teaching: This person could be the one to bring an educational awareness of homelessness to the church, helping people understand the causes of homelessness and solutions for it, particularly in light of principles from God’s Word.

Wisdom: This person could be the one to offer practical solutions to the pitfalls the person with the gift of discernment sees. For example, this person might suggest giving gift certificates in lieu of money, taking the person to a restaurant or store and paying the bill, wearing a coat you would be willing to give away, carrying some food items with you to give away, etc.

When everybody does their part, we can take a more comprehensive approach to homeless ministry while addressing specific, immediate needs.