Monday, January 31, 2011


Last week - the four functions of the church - Worship, Nurture, Ministry, Evangelism

Today - MINISTRY - doing good to people on God's behalf.
1 John 3:16-19 - ("truth")

1. We're called to help people - Biblical mandate throughout scripture, Jesus modeled, Biblical reason
2 We're equipped to help people - resourced with spiritual gifts, emotional well-being, finances, etc.
3. few of us minister to capacity given the resources and opportunities God has given us.
4. we need to examine and expand our ministry efforts...

That said, we still must ask "when should we refuse to help???"
(ie: given time/resources/opportunities .... is it ever right to refuse?

Answer: You should refuse to help when helping is not helpful.

3 personal questions..... if you are then one responsible for the decision..
#1. what should you do?
#2. what would you do?
#3. What if what you should do does not match what you would do? (who is irresponsible now??)

#1. We are called to help (aid/assist) NOT merely to give to people.
#2. Not all "help" is helpful. Examples: doing kids' homework, supporting grown kids, bailing out guilty family members, etc.
#3. Jesus didn't always say "yes". John 6:22-26

Breakdown from the book "When Helping Hurts".
Three levels of ministry/assistance

Relief: immediate, temporary assistance to reduce suffering (or prevent suffering)
Rehabilitation: an attempt to restore to a pre-crisis state.
Development: an attempt to develop beyond the pre-crisis state (in hope of avoiding future crisis)

Scenarios are endless but here are some questions for assessment.
#1. Is there truly a crisis? if not, no need for relief.

#2. If so, to what degree is the individual responsible? The point is not punish, but not promote irresponsible behavior!

#3. Can the individual help 'self? Does he have the ability to help himself? Also, to what degree? Sometimes relief is the best we can do.

#4. Has past help been well used? Stewardship

#5. If the person is able to help 'self, is it right to continue to assist? (to enable/promote irresponsible behavior?) 2 Thess. 3:6, 10-13

#6. If the person responds to rehabilitation and development how long and how far should we assist?

The point of all of the above is, does "helping" help???

Keep in mind.....
#1. We are called to minister (help) not merely give!
John 6:14-15 Luke 12:13-15

#2. We answer to the Lord, not to the request.

#3. The right thing is not always the easiest thing, and that's irresponsible.

#4. Often you won't know what's the right thing. You have to do the best you can with right heart, right attitude.

#5. When unsure, err on the side of mercy (compassion) - (this is not a cop out for decision making!)

#6. Don't let the abusers harden you toward the needy.

God calls us to be His hands and feet. We cannot do that unless we have some of His heart and mind. Can't be ignorant about God's will in order to be able to do what's right.

Heb. 13:20-21

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