I love Paul’s defence of his ministry in Gal 2:10 ” All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I had been eager to do all along.”
The generosity of this church amazes me especially how people get helped financially when in need. It’s really like the early church.
In the book of Acts – 3,000 Jews who had come to Jerusalem for the festival of Pentecost got saved and stayed in the city rather than going back home. So there was a situation of 3,000 more mouths to feed many of whom initially had no local work. So v42 tells us how they dealt with it “And all the believers were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all as had need.”
That continued and by Acts chapter 4 we are told people laid their money at the apostle’s feet to be distributed as had need. By chapter 6 the church is so big they needed deacons to do the distributing.
As we are growing and ministering to the poor and the vulnerable more and more, there are more requests for money by people within the church. In times of austerity where benefits are being cut, there are more and more people struggling to make ends meet. So it’s great that people are helping each other. We have a heart for the poor and want to genuinely help the poor. Sometimes that will be giving money, but genuine help will also help with setting a budget and keeping to it. On occasions, people have felt under emotional pressure to give in awkward situations or repeatedly.
As elders we have realised the early church had that mechanism whereby money for the poor was laid at their feet and then distributed as had need. We have a benevolent fund at The Gateway which you can give too. If you’d like to prime the benevolent fund pump, please mark your gift benevolent fund.
If you feel uncomfortable about being asked for money, especially repeatedly, please feel free to point them to the elders. It’s an easy way out for you not to be put under pressure or feel manipulated. We can also make sure they are getting other help they need with budgeting and so on too.
It’s about freedom – you are of course free to give to others as they have need. But you are free to point them to Kees or I for the church to meet the need and help in other ways too.