The Church as a Resource Centre

A news article shares about an organisation in Taipei that has about 1,600 volunteers who provide support to 300 staff to serve a total of 4,200 elderly people. This works out to having one volunteer caring for three elderly person which greatly lightens the load of the staff caring for the elderly people. In order to motivate the volunteers to give of their time to help, the organisation has a reward system: the time a volunteer gives to the organisation can be exchanged for future help when that volunteer needs it. It could be exchanged, for example, for help in fixing computers. This explains in part the high level of volunteerism. I have two observations in application to the church.

First, the church should also be a powerhouse of resources. Although our church is not big, we have a good number of people with different abilities and can hence provide help to different groups of people. If the church leadership approaches you for your expertise, would you be willing to commit some time to provide help either on a regular basis or for a certain time period? Of course, we will do it in such a way that it fits your schedule. But in any volunteer work, commitment is a practical necessity, that is, you may need to sacrifice your time. We will, however, keep the level of commitment to a minimum. But would you consider helping?

Second, this organisation in Taipei rewards the volunteer according to the time volunteered at the organisation. Can we adopt this system? What doe God’s Word say? About doing good deeds, our Lord Jesus says in Matt 6:1-2,

Be careful not to practise your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So, when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honoured by others. Truly I tell you, they have their reward in full.

In other words, the person who helps the needy must not do good deeds with a view of receiving praises or rewards from human beings. Otherwise, God will not reward that person. Jesus also adds in Luke 6:35 that,

But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great.

God rewards and rewards greatly those who give without expecting anything in return. Perhaps, the question should be: do you want rewards given by human beings or those given by God? Thus, the teaching of God’s Word is: we should do good without expecting rewards from human beings. Instead, we give selflessly. Such selfless giving will bring down rewards from God. But will God really reward us? We believe that God keeps promises. Let us help the needy by faith.

The church as a powerhouse of resources was also practiced by the early church: “They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need” (Acts 2:45). I am sure you have some abilities that you can contribute to other Christians who worship here regularly. Would you consider letting the Lord use you? Would you be willing to make some sacrifices to help God’s people? John urges us: “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth” (1 John 3:18).