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What We Have Learned: Target Groups

January 27, 2011

God’s Kingdom has a heart for the widow, the orphan, the poor, and the alien. If you read scripture it is impossible to miss God’s compassion for these different groups. To be God’s Kingdom we need to do the same.

Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor. Do not plot evil against each other.’ Zechariah 7:10

We need to look at each of these areas and ask, how can we be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ to each group.

The danger exists in community impact ministry to only look at one specific group when thinking of help. Often times it ends up being those who we consider poor. Do we need to help the poor? Certainly but the the Kingdom is about more than just the poor.

I think it is also important to realize that some of this is driven by our middle class culture and the belief that everyone needs to be middle class. A person we call poor in America may actually be someone considered rich or middle class in other parts of the world. We should remember Jesus didn’t come to make sure everyone was middle class.

As followers of Christ we need to look at what we do to impact the community and make sure it targets each area.

We have focused our assistance on widows during the Christmas season. We wanted to make sure they were not forgotten. The needs of the elderly are often very practical. No toys for them. They typically need blankets, slippers, lotion and other everyday items.

We also have our Renovate Home Improvement ministry which offers assistance to seniors who have needs around the house that would otherwise not be met. These ministries have led to other opportunities like mowing lawns and raking leaves for widows in our community.

How about orphans? In the past we have supported orphanages around the world and street children in Nigeria with our Need for Seed program. We partner with Hope Springs International and help children learn to grow their own crops with drip irrigation. The children receive assistance while they learn to become self-sufficient.

We are also in the beginning stages of a ministry targeting the Department of Human Services and the countless foster children in their care. Before you go to far, remember be creative. We are not talking about giving them Christmas presents, we are talking about finding ways to show them the love of Christ. how do you help them know the love of Christ. What can the Kingdom of God do to impact this area?

How about aliens? This might be one of the touchiest subjects today. We offer ESL and a targeted clothing ministry to help them with needs. We planted a Spanish language church that eventually moved to another location. All of this because we believe we have an obligation to be the hands and feet of Jesus to each group.

Take a look at your community impact ministry and see if each group is represented. If we are going to be God’s kingdom we must. Certainly other churches in the area may have a greater presence and possibly partnering with them may be the solution but do not neglect the widow, the orphan, the alien or the poor in your community.

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