Evangelicals Increasingly Seeking to Help The Poor and Needy
The Bible’s teaching on caring for the poor and needy is extensive. In fact, Larry Burkett, the founder of Crown Ministries, once identified all the verses in the Bible which had to do with money and wealth and found that the greatest emphasis among these verses was to call on Christians to help those in need. Giving aid to the impoverished has long been a central teaching of the Catholic church, but Evangelicals often focused their attention on other important issues. More recently, however, Evangelical churches have responded to the Bible’s call to help the poor with a greater focus. Ed Stetzer of LifeWay Research recently surveyed protestant pastors and found that poverty was the most frequently cited issue for pastors at this time. One-quarter of the pastors highlighted poverty as their number one issue, narrowly beating out other issues such as abortion (24%), same sex marriage (20%) and healthcare (19%). Only 3% of the pastors thought environmental concerns were a top issue for them. The chart below demonstrates how these pastors have increasingly put their faith into action on the poverty front in the last three years. MinistryWatch.com applauds this trend and trusts it will expand in the years ahead to giving more help to the poor outside the immediate community these churches find themselves in. Some have claimed that only 3% of all the money given to churches in the US ever leaves the US. While we hope that number is inaccurate (too low), there is no question Christians in the richest nation on earth could be doing more to help the poor outside our borders as well as the growing numbers of poor within our borders. For those interested in helping the poor and needy both here and abroad, MinistryWatch.com has extensive information on a variety of ministries in the relief and development area so that donors can choose wisely and effectively which ministry to support.