Helps: What That Means

A central function of CHRISTWORKS MINISTRIES is various helps projects. People usually ask us what we do in these projects. The summary answer may sound simple: we love people with the love of the Lord, which includes some practical as well as spiritual work. The things that make the most lasting difference are not driven by money. They are driven by relationship. He loves us; we love others. But shape of that love involves every day actions (not just words). It might involve some money, but giving money to people is not our focus, and we don’t have a level of support or a staff to do that. So our projects come out of a relationship with people who have some practical needs that can use our presence or some of the things we develop.

You can even find the word “helps” in the New Testament, but this section is not a Bible study. If you look at the last few years of ministry reports, you can get a good idea how we operate. Usually our tasks involved educational helps to schools, churches, and groups but it really depends on the needs we find. The nice thing about being small and not having a lot of insitutional “weight” is that we can change when the needs change. If you had told us that we needed to develop a study on biblical creation ten years ago, we would have wondered what you were asking. But the need surfaced in both Uganda and the Philippines, so we proceeded to do it. God, of course, used our backgrounds and experiences to mold what is produced. Our current emphasis is getting courses to folks who need them and being in contact with a few groups to encourage them. However, in ten years will we be doing the same thing the same way? We think so, but we really don’t know. It really depends on the needs of the brethren we have relationships with.

We get numerous requests for funds. If you are looking for funding, please understand that we do not have a program that finds need and sends money. We generally do not respond to those requests because that is not our focus. When we do provide monetary assistance to others, it is only because there is a relationship that is established, we already love one another, and we feel directed to assist in a monetary fashion. Even then, our resources are very limited, so we concentrate on training and encouraging people–not just handing over funds. So most money associated with a project provides the travel funds and materials that we need to go somewhere to be of assistance. Many good ministries make it their primary mission to find needy groups to provide funds to them. We are not that kind of group.

So how do we find out about people or groups that we want to help? It varies. We hear about something they are doing. Sometimes we cross paths with them. Sometimes, while in a period of prayer, we come across someone or a situation that we feel we should respond to. In the process of investigating or getting to know them, the Holy Spirit impresses us to help. There is no formula that is common, except that God encourages us to do what we can do. Since we are a very small group of people (most often less than five), any helps are limited by the number of hands and hearts involved. We mention this because people sometimes request to join our ranks, as if we had a sizable and paid staff with a big budget. We are small but encourage something big: make a difference because the Holy Spirit is able to put people in the right place and the right time to help and encourage. As said in other sections of the site, we try to marry practical and spiritual functions in our projects. The foundation is always the same: faith in Christ and a love relationship with other believers, because He loves us.

“What about bible-believing churches? Aren’t they doing these sorts of things?” We hear this question quite a bit. The answer is pretty simple. They should be; some do; very few do it very much. We wish the answer was different, but in our experience mission work in most churches is paltry and/or indirect. Church life, church buildings, and the associated staff in most cases suck up funds and time–the two critical ingredients necessary for mission work to be a life style in people. In most cases, mission work and outreach is a small project through a small number of people or it is indirect. Funding is usually miniscule compared to the overall budge. How can you tell? It is easy. Look at the time and money devoted to outreach and mission work compared to the whole budget to find an accurate answer in any church. There are a few churches that do things very well, but they are small in number. Our approach is a bit different: we appeal to people and their homes directly and ask, “Why don’t you do something like what we are doing?” If the effort to lay aside money and time to serve Him from that home foundation is not significant, then putting a bunch of homes and families together in a church will show no better results. To us, then, it starts with a person…or a couple…or a family…and what is important at home. How do you tell? It’s easy. The answer is the same as we gave above. Look at the person’s or family’s budget of time and money. What is spent in order to bring people in or go to them to love them with the love of the Lord. And, in the process, are there practical helps that are provided?

If the Christian life does not make a difference at home or in an individual’s life, then it is not making a real difference. Prayer and worship and the Word are important. They, however, are meant to be hand and glove with a desire to love others. That translates to be available to Him for good works. If it is not happening at home, it won’t happen effectively in church either. Isn’t that one of the primary messages of the book James? Isn’t that the point of Matthew 25 in the parable of the sheep and the goats? Isn’t that the point of the lifestyle pointed to in Isaiah 58?

So, you be an instrument of change. We have proven to ourselves that if we are available and willing, God opens doors at home or in the neighborhood or overseas to assist others and to love them fervently while providing whatever assistance we can with the tools we have. It costs us space in our home, money in our budget, and time. And, it is worth everything! Ten families become a powerhouse if they do this! 50 families, whether in a bible-believing church or in a relationship together because of Him (which is a church), have limitless possibilities of being of service and making a difference. Make a difference!

Do you want a presentation or talk on this? Ask us. We would be glad to encourage the brethren.

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