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People needing help

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Trapper, Jul 12, 2004.

  1. Trapper

    Trapper New Member

    Sep 24, 2001
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    We have people call our church wanting help (money) on a regular basis. Currently a lady needs several hundred dollars to pay a utility bill. How do some of you handle these cases?
  2. Pastor J

    Pastor J New Member

    Jan 9, 2004
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    Our church does not have the funds to help every individual who calls looking for a handout. We evaluate each situation to try and determine if there is truly a need and can we as a church help.
  3. menageriekeeper

    menageriekeeper Active Member

    Feb 20, 2004
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    Well I'm not pastor but I can tell you how our church(and a couple of others I know of) handle these requests. We take applications and a committee discusses the issue both with the person and internally among themselves(and with the pastor if need be) and then the committee makes the decision.

    Most of the member don't know/ask who is being helped. We trust the committee to handle it.
  4. Bro Tony

    Bro Tony New Member

    Jan 27, 2004
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    If we are talking about members of the church, we have a budgeting committee that will meet with them. We will usually handle the request for help and pay the amount the first time if the family agrees to meet with the budgeting committee. This committee will look at the situation and give advice to the family about how to budget better and how to live within their budget. If it becomes a continual problem and they refuse to meet with the committee or follow the committee's advice then we tell them we will not be able to help them.

    Bro Tony
  5. exscentric

    exscentric Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    May 24, 2004
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    Gather a list of phone numbers and addresses for public help spots. There are many different sorts of help depending on your state.

    You need to know what is available to know how you are being scammed :) Some people will outwear their state welcome, then their local and start on the churches.

    You have to listen with compassion, but hand out the list to non-members, there are usually places to help.

    In our state you can get your utilities paid if you qualify.

    Go with your feeling/leading as there are some true cases and you should help if you can. Many take a deacons fund offering once a month to fund this sort of assistence. I like the idea of several being in the mix for the decision.

    Know that some work the system overtime rather than just work. Some "believers" do the same so do what you can and leave the result up to God. He will sort things out in the end.

    Below is a deacon fund policy for ideas, doubt you would want all of it, nor that it would even work in all churches. Just a resource. Maybe others will post their churches policy.


    In that the Scripture is very clear that we are to be in the custom of assisting other believers in need, and in that the Scripture is very clear that we are to be in the custom of assisting widows and orphans, and in that the Scripture is clear that we are to be in the custom of assisting strangers, we hearby institute this policy to assist us in this ministry to those in need. (See footnote at end of policy for references.)

    Each person seeking assistance will be interviewed by two of our deacons/elders and their concurrence will result in help. There is no need to INVESTIGATE a request for help other than to talk with the person involved to gain a sense that the need is valid. (We will trust God to guide us in our decisions and allow Him to deal with those that misuse our ministry.)

    1. The fund shall be financed by an offering taken in the missions bowl after the Lord's table service each month.

    2. The fund shall be dispersed under the guidance of the deacons.

    3. The funds will be distributed by gift certificate as much as possible, or by cash/check if the need is not available via certificates.

    4. A grocery closet will be maintained at the church via the donations of the membership. It will contain sealed goods that can be stored for extended periods of time.

    5. If the fund is depleted, and a seemingly valid case exists the deacon and pastor may go before the church for a special offering/general fund expenditure for the assistance.

    6. A list of social service agencies will be maintained and a copy of that list shall be given to each person requesting assistance. (It is assumed by this policy that much of our tax money goes to support social services, so we should make use of those services for the assistance of those in need.)

    7. A total value for each assistance shall not exceed $50. (Groceries need only be approximated.)

    8. The above is not to say that every person that requests assistance is to be helped. It shall be at the discretion of those talking with the person that may or may not determine to extend help from the church family.

    9. If there is a choice between church family members and those outside the church, then the church families needs should be met first.

    10. In keeping with James 2:15, I Jo. 3:17-18, and II Thess 3:6-15 we feel that there is a different relationship between the church and the church member that is in need than between the church and a nonmember. We therefore set forth the following guidelines for the church member in need.

    a. It is assumed that most of the needs will be met via the church membership before there is need to go to the deacons fund. All should feel a responsibility to voluntarily assist in any manner that they can. (Some possible examples: Repair people assist in repairing items needed by the family, doctors/ dentists /other professionals giving minor services, etc.)

    b. If there are needs over and above that which is forthcoming from the membership the deacons fund should assist as possible. Within II Thes 3:6-15 is the responsibility for the church to assure that the need is real. This is usually quite obvious, but if the obvious dims into a habit, there should be intervention by the pastor/deacons. The person that is failing to do all that they can to resolve their situation should be counseled. If there is no change then the pastor should be brought in to institute steps toward church discipline.

    c. If the need is real and the deacons fund cannot relieve the need, then it should be considered by the pastor and deacons whether the need should be brought before the church for action by the congregation. This step might be eliminated if the congregation were to vote a sum of money be set aside to be given at the discretion and unanimous agreement of the pastor and deacons.

    (II Thess 3:6-15 "Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us. 7 For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you; 8 Neither did we eat any man's bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you: 9 Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us. 10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. 11 For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. 12 Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread. 13 But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing. 14 And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. 15 Yet count [him] not as an enemy, but admonish [him] as a brother.")


    Heb 13:2 Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Acts 6:1 And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. I Tim 5:3 Honour widows that are widows indeed. 4 But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God. James 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, [and] to keep himself unspotted from the world. Matt 25:34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty , and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed [thee]? or thirsty , and gave [thee] drink? 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took [thee] in? or naked, and clothed [thee]? 39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done [it] unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done [it] unto me.


    Insert here any nearby social service centers.

    Nave's topical Bible references for further study:

    De 15:7-18; Le 25:35-43; Ps 41:1, 112:9; Pr 3:27,28, 11:25, 22:9, 25:21,22, 28:27; Isa 58:6,7,10,11; Eze 18:5,7-9; Mt 5:42, 19:21, 25:35-45; Mr 9:41, 10:21; Lu 3:11, 11:41; Ac 6:1-4, 11:29,30; Ro 15:25-27; 1Co 13:3, 16:1-3; 2Co 8:1-15,24, 9:1-15; Ga 2:10; Php 4:10-18; 1Ti 5:8,16, 6:18; Heb 6:10, 13:16; Jas 2:15,16; 1Jo 3:17.
  6. Trapper

    Trapper New Member

    Sep 24, 2001
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    Thanks Folks,
    Appreciate the info Exscentric. That truely helps alot. I found out this person is possibly taking advantage of the church(s) in the area. Yet for those in the future I'm going to make up a sort of policy on how to handle these type things.
    Thanks Trapper