Social Services
The church must understand its social mission--
and accept it

We are in the midst of economic crisis. The crisis is personal, local, national, and global. It is personal because it affects us individually, whether through jobs or pay or just the price of food and energy. It is local because it affects our neighbors, our merchants, our service providers. It is national because the country has been spending far beyond its means and can't agree on a way to bring it under control. It is global, as other nations around the world come under increasing pressure.

Not surprisingly, politicians point at others, blaming them for failure to control spending, failure to raise taxes, and failure to compromise. No doubt there is plenty of blame to go around. Unfortunately, there is neither time nor money for playing the blame game. People are hungry now, and the money is already more than spent.

Special interest groups play the blame game, too, with the same range of accusations used by the politicians. To my knowledge, no group is stepping up to accept blame, provide resources, or implement solutions. A few programs make meager attempts, but nothing is happening on the scale of the global economic failure, and all of the programs depend upon substantial funding from governments that have no more money to give.

And where is the church? If ever there was a time for the church to spring into action, now is the time. There are people in need. They need food. They need clothes. They need shelter. They need care. They need visitors. Most of all, they need love. These are social services, and the church is called to fill them.

In case you are wondering where the church can find the resources to answer this calling, remember what the church is. We are the church. We are called, and only we can answer. The church doesn't simply depend on us. The church IS us! The church does not depend on government budgets. The church does not depend on government programs. The church does not depend on government at all. The church depends on God, and God calls the church to faithful giving and service through its members.

If you are not a member of a local congregation, join one. If you are a member, get involved. If you are a church leader, lead by example and challenge others to follow. Combine with other congregations. Answer the call.

People are fed up with government, and they have a right to be. Now is the time to feed the people something better. Something more satisfying. Something eternal. Share your faith through a life of giving and service.

Like Christ, we are on a mission. Be Christ like. Be Christian.

God bless you--