A pastor friend told me that his daughter adopted an African child who has been through hell. The child had suffered abuse and abandonment and needed professional counseling, but they couldn't find a faith-based counseling organization to help her overcome her depression, fear, and, trauma. They finally turned to a secular program in another state, which was costly.
The pastor's daughter asked a question that has occurred to me as well: Why aren't churches providing the services so desperately needed in our communities? It used to be that we turned to our churches in times of need. But the idea of serving a community no longer seems to be a priority for many churches. Too often they seem to be fixated on growing membership and acquiring property to build bigger and bigger church buildings.
If I were a pastor, I would want my congregation and my community to come to me first. I would want my church to be the ultimate social service agency, not just for my members, but for anyone who needed assistance. I was so moved by the story of the pastor's daughter and her adopted child that I spent several hours compiling a list of more than one hundred pains or needs that churches in every community should serve by cooperating and pooling their resources.
I live in Ventura County, California, where there are more than one hundred churches. Can you imagine the healing work they could do if they all joined forces to create a network of drug counselors, psychiatrists, counselors, nurses, physicians, financial advisors, tax experts, and other service providers for their congregation and nearby communities? Why do we think governments should bear all the burden? Isn't healing and helping the needy God's work?
In Matthew 9:28-29, we are told about Jesus entering the house where blind men came to see Him for healing. Jesus asked them, "Do you believe that I am able to do this?" The blind men said they believed in His healing powers. Jesus then touched their eyes and said, "According to your faith be it done to you."
Jesus is compassionate. He stands at the door and waits for us to open it so He can love and heal us all. He loves strangers and even His enemies. I believe that all churches should show the same level of compassion by doing as much as they can to heal and assist anyone and everyone who comes to them. We shouldn't expect anyone else to do His work for us.
Churches need to serve the faithful and the unsaved. This is a form of outreach, a method for bringing more of God's children to His flock by serving their needs and showing them God's compassion. The world says I am disabled without hands and legs, but to me, a church that doesn't seek people to help and then give them all they need to nourish their faith is a disabled church. If we want people to welcome Jesus Christ into their lives, we have to show them how He works in their lives.
Nick Vujicic appears this Thursday on LIFE Today. This is an excerpt from Be The Hands And Feet by Nick Vujicic. Copyright ©2018 by Nicholas James Vujicic. Published by WaterBrook, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Used by permission.