Organizing Compassion

Pray – good.  Act – better.  Lead – best.

Matthew Spandler-Davison, over at the Gospel Coalition, has the story of how his small church is meeting the real physical needs of those in his downtown community.  In gospel terms, I believe this is known as loving his neighbors.

He doesn’t lack for visibility.  And people instinctively know to ask the church for help.  His biggest challenge?  Resources:

Very quickly people started dropping into the office throughout the week to seek help, often struggling financially, facing eviction, or fighting to meet the needs of their children. More often than not I had to turn people away. We simply didn’t have the resources, time, or capacity to respond to every need.

Well now, it seems to me there are no end of churches in America with a surfeit of resources.  Maybe we could re-task some of the money earmarked for that new flat-panel, LED Jumbotron. The question really isn’t whether we have the resources.  It’s whether our central purpose is loving our neighbors.  If it is, the church will prioritize its spending accordingly.  Otherwise, not.

What we need is people whose role it is to show us how to fulfill the command to love God and our neighbors.  People who have the vision to make the match between Matthew’s church and those with the resources.  People with a mandate to lead, not just talk.

I think they’re called pastors.  So . . . who’s it going to be?

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