Loving the Poor

blogger trip 2012 - Courtney Clan photographyFH Ethiopia-33This past week I had an interesting discussion with a church leader about the mandate we have in the Bible from Jesus to reach out to the poor.

At Food for the Hungry (FH), we go the hardest places and reach the poorest of the poor. To my surprise this church leader actually used the phrase; “It’s just not in our DNA to partner with others to reach the poor.”

I was almost dumbfounded when I heard these words … I had to actually repeat them back to my friend to make sure I heard him correctly. I had no idea this particular church was so internally focused. How sad.

The Externally-Focused Church

Several years ago someone handed me the book, “The Externally Focused Church” by Rick Rusaw and Eric Swanson.

As a church leader, it was my first real encounter regarding the church and God’s calling to serve the poor around the world.  It sent me off on quite a journey of why churches go into the mission field … Are they really called to bring help and ministry to “the least of these” or are they into some kind of missional tourism and photo opportunity?

To my disappointment, I found that travel experiences outweighed the passion for ministry.

Fast forward with me to when I had the opportunity to join Food for the Hungry in 2011. One of the really attractive things about working at FH was partnering with churches like Faith Lutheran Church in Golden, Colo.

Faith Lutheran Church is finding how expanding their reach into the world is creating skills for them to apply back in their own town. “Our partnership with Food for the Hungry has pushed us ahead by leaps and bounds as we seek to be the hands and feet and voice of Jesus in the world….it moves us to be more involved in the needs of the world and of our own community,” said Peter Morin, Missional Pastor of Faith Lutheran Church.

Giving Life-Changing Help

When I think about great churches like Faith Lutheran Church and the heroic ways they step into the developing world to provide long-term sustainable impact with the poorest of the poor, I sense these are the people reflected in Matthew 25:40 “… Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it for me.”

What do these churches do? They feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty, clothe the naked and meet the needs of those who have lost everything.

At Food for the Hungry, we are a vehicle for you and your church to have life-changing impact on the “least of these” throughout the developing world. It’s really not about our individual organizations and entities. But rather about the mandate on all of us as Christ followers.

You and your church are invited to join us in our work to end poverty worldwide. Please learn more about how your church can partner with Food for the Hungry today.

About Tim Smith

Tim Smith has more than 35 years of experience with non-profit organizations in administration, management and fund development. Smith has advised numerous NPO's in leadership, organization and major funding development. He is widely recognized as a leading authority in these fields. His book, "Donors Are People Too" is required reading for many NPO's committed to a ministry-based philosophy when developing a major funding program.Currently, he serves as Chief Development Officer for Food for the Hungry in Phoenix, Ariz.

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