As Christians, we are supposed to help people, but how to best help them is a big conundrum. Often our impulses tell us to just give them some cash or food, but is that really the best answer? Maybe in the short term, but what most people need almost as much as food, is dignity and purpose. If you are not contributing to society, it becomes hard to see your worth. The state welfare system was not designed to help with that. We need the church to step in and actually listen to people, find out what specifically they need to feel like a whole person again, ready to take on the world.
Every individual has different needs and talents, some need specialized child care for their child. Uncle Sam does not know that a retired pediatric nurse lives down the street from you who would love to take care of someone’s child and knows exactly what to do when their heart monitors alarms. Some need an affordable car, and you or someone at your church know where a cheap, but safe and reliable used car can be found. Some need a counselor or a friend…
As a church, we are better able to supply those needs than the state ever could be.
Edit: If I led anyone to believe that the Gospel is unimportant, that was not my intent. It is, the intent of this article was to show that showing them love while we tell them the Gospel is important too.