Churches – “We’re outsourcing our benevolence funds”…Really?

Is the need that great?
Are churches having trouble “keeping up”?
Why are some churches outsourcing the care of the poor to agencies?
Isn’t there some sort of responsibility that churches ought to have in regards to helping those in need?

It is mind boggling to me when I come across community churches that have outsourced one of its primary functions in as Christians to a created agency to facilitate.   They are happy to funnel their “charity” funds into a created social service office somewhere off of their church buildings.  It almost says to the outside world – we’re interested only in those who can support themselves but we don’t want the riffraff of society  in our beautiful buildings.

The Benefit of the doubt: church1
Granted, there are always new legalities and policies within cities taking place which makes it difficult for some churches to serve the needy.

Secondly, some churches do not have the budgets for staffing full time social service employees to facilitate this need.

Thirdly, storage and distribution space.

changeBut…
(and it’s a big one) does this mean ONLY parishioners/members of that church can have access to services?
The danger in this kind of model of social distribution of services (and it really does exist) is that support for individuals in need is managed in a discriminatory fashion.  If you do not belong to the “club” you cannot receive help…”but here are a list of food pantries in the area that we can direct you to.”  That’s all well and good but don’t you think the message it is sending is “you don’t belong here, please go somewhere else…Members only!”?

Outsourcing:
The only kind of outsourcing Jesus did was delegating responsibilities to his disciples.
It was for their education as disciples.
It was to help them and to grow as future leaders.
Jesus didn’t send people on their way to the temple administrators.
He didn’t tell some “I can’t heal you because you aren’t a member”

Why do some churches take this path?
Does it deviate from the true purpose of “Church”?
Does it seem to send a message of “We care, but not in our backyard“?

I ponder these things today with open questions because honestly I don’t have the answers.
I just see that certain churches have become pretentious in appearances and treat benevolence like a blight or an annoyance that they deal with once or twice a year with a collection.

Is this not important?
Are we not to care for the orphans, widows and poor?
Has it become beneath the modern American church?
If that person isn’t a member is there any help that we can give them?

Something more to ponder today.

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2 Replies to “Churches – “We’re outsourcing our benevolence funds”…Really?”

  1. These questions could also be asked of many of our churches in Australia. It is not just in the matter of welfare that churches can make people feel as if they are not wanted but the area of teaching, support and discipline. These are all areas where it is very easy to make people feel that if they do not meet certain standards they need to go elsewhere. It is still about making the church look good and pristine. We as humans do not have the advantage of being the creator of all people, which means we relate to certain people better than others. We must work at being fair to all people. What is really sad is when people are told that it is for their own good and being done under the banner of love. Love is hard work and I feel we have lost sight of that. It is too often confused with the feelings of romance so if it doesn’t feel nice its not love. I guess this issue is a large can.

  2. my understanding of what Jesus meant when He said that you will always have the poor with you has changed. He wasn’t saying there would always be poor people but that by following Jesus the poor will always be with you. A natural step to associate with the least of this world.

    In as much as you have done for the least. Not funded. Not supported. Done

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