Not every church can help the homeless to the degree that Anawim does. Every church has their own ministries that the Lord has called them to. But every church can take on a small aspect of ministry to the very poor among us. For many of our churches, this will mean doing some work for the homeless. But most churches are at a loss– how can we appropriately help those in need? Here’s some ideas that other churches have tried and found successful:
-Have a collection drive in your church and give them to a local homeless ministry– or hand them out yourselves!. Socks are wonderful, but also blankets, sleeping bags, hand warmers, or breakfast bars.
-Make lunches with socks, hand warmers and scriptures and hand them out to the local homeless.
-Provide a “Christmas in Spring”– a special meal for the poor and homeless in the community NOT at the time that traditional meals are held.
-Ask your church to have a line in their budget to support a local homeless ministry.
-Ask a local homeless ministry if they could use some volunteers once a month to help out.
-Provide a meal for the poor once a month or once a week for the poor in your area (make sure it isn’t at the same time as other ministries providing meals in your area).
-Open your facility to the homeless to have a place to rest or to get out of the community once a week, for four to six hours. This is a great way to get to know your local homeless!
Most of all, whatever you do, give with love, not grudgingly! What does love look like? It means you meet the needy with joy, you provide peace to your neighbor, you are patient with other’s failings, you are kind to needy, you perform what is good to all, you speak with gentleness, and you remain in control no matter what chaos surrounds us. Grant this to the homeless, and you have given a gift unspeakable.
“If I give all my possessions to the poor and give my body to be burned but have no love, I obtain no benefit.” I Corinthians 13:3