the weblog of Alan Knox

What if they thought of the church?

Posted by on Oct 11, 2007 in missional, service | 7 comments

Last week, I published a short post called “Missional Christians in 360 AD“, commenting on the how Emperor Julian recognized that Christians took care of the poor and needy, even the poor and needy who were not Christians. Last Sunday evening, as I met together with some brothers and sisters to pray and discuss service opportunities, I thought about Emperor Julian again.

One of the ladies who meets with us on Sunday morning lives in government housing in our town. When we first met her, a man was living with her because he needed medical attention. He had been in the hospital, and when he was released, no one would take care of him, so she took him in. As I’ve gotten to know here, I’ve found that she is one of the most giving and caring persons that I know – even in the very difficult situation in which she finds herself.

A few weeks ago, another unit opened up in the government housing facility. They allowed the man to move out of her apartment, into the open apartment. However, he had nothing for his apartment – no furniture, no kitchen utensils, no dishes, etc. Nothing. Our friend asked her brothers and sisters in Christ for help. They responded by providing everything he needed plus more.

As we were discussing possible ministry opportunities last Sunday evening, I thought about this lady and her friend. What would happen if other people in the government housing facility heard about the generosity of the church? What would happen if they began to think about the church when they were in need? What would happen if they asked our friend if we would be willing to help them as well?

This may sound like a never-ending cycle of giving and giving and giving… perhaps to some people who would take advantage of our generosity.

But, would it not be amazing for people to begin turning to the church again when they were in need? I hope the church would be willing to trust God to provide for those needs.


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  1. 10-11-2007

    My parents’ church canceled services last week to paint, clean up, and landscape the public school across the street from their church.

    The principal wept, because there was no category in his mind for that kind of practice of faith.

    Here at Southwest, we know our homeless, and they know us. Got one in my men’s choir, but then, he’s not homeless anymore.

    Jesus (God) commanded us to give without expectation of return. But what blessedness there is when the return is the eternal life of someone who had no life at all.

  2. 10-11-2007

    I wonder if people had ulterior motives in seeking Christ or some took advantage of Him? hmmm…

  3. 10-11-2007

    My first comment here, and I’m going to disagree with David. No, your parent’s church did NOT cancel services. It did services: paint, clean up, and landscape. As you say, it was a practice of faith that brings one to tears, or should. Please send my respects to that pastors and the flock who served.

    What happens if too many people look to Christians to, uhhhh, obey Christ? Well, we’d have to trust God, and follow His lead.

    There’s an outfit in Texas that does that. Read about it here:

  4. 10-12-2007


    Praise God for your parents and others like them! I pray that God will continue changing me until I find myself following their example.

    Ed (tenjuices),

    I think they did…


    First, welcome to my blog and thank you for the comment! I agree, I think David’s parents’ church did meet. They met and served in ways that were honoring and worshipful toward God, and loving and giving toward others.

    Must have been a wonderful “worship service”!


  5. 10-12-2007

    That is the calling of God’s people. To care for the poor and oppressed. But somehow we have managed to taint the image of the church by judging everyone and everything, seeking the power to rule instead of using our God given power to SERVE, etc. etc.

    Great post

  6. 10-12-2007

    Check out this post I wrote in May. Same notion. The really good news is that although it involves endless giving we serve a God who can give endlessly (and does). I say we can put Him to that test. 🙂

  7. 10-12-2007

    Tia Lynn,

    Welcome to my blog! You’re right, this is God’s call for us. Wouldn’t it be awesome if we actually followed God’s call, provided for people, and they thought of the church as a source of help, instead of the way people usually view the church?


    Thank you for linking to your post. Yes, that’s exactly what I’m talking about.