The ‘Church’ can and should develop evangelical missionaries to draw the community to Jesus Christ to help overcome poverty
By GREGORY ALEXANDER, II
I would like to challenge all of you! Take a hard look at this very broken United States we call home. Ask yourself why fewer and fewer people are coming to church and the numbers of new converts are declining? The answer is because the church is absent at home.
Congregants rarely leave the interior of the gathering place to evangelize for the sole purpose of “evangelism.” Yes, we [may] get out and evangelize to draw folks to our church and we have drives and giveaways that lend temporary aid. But have we established an ongoing effort to cause permanent positive change the way it is happening in other countries? What steps had your church home taken to bring jobs to the community, to foster peace or to fight injustices and inequality?
Have you gotten together to demand contractors higher from within the community? Have you started a petition [drive] that would require 50 percent of the law enforcement officers to reside in the community they patrol?
There was a time when the “Church” spearheaded these kinds of movements. Where is the Body of Christ, now? The national financial intake for churches is staggering! The cars, houses, jets and places of worship clearly reveal that. But the young single mother that knows she’s going to get a basket for Easter (Resurrection Sunday for me), Thanksgiving, and Christmas is sleeping in the cold because she can’t afford to get the heater fixed, or suffers from [undue heat during hot weather] because her windows are painted shut.
Then there’s the elderly man, [who can’t get] get any social help because he isn’t female. His lawn needs cutting, his clothes need cleaning, his walker only has one working wheel, his glasses are broken, and he can no longer drive.
How about the young man earnestly looking for work? He possesses very little experience to do anything but is fairly good at almost everything. But he doesn’t have a clue how to write a resume, no interview skills, or any inkling how to dress for an interview. These people need long-term assistance along with following up and follow through to get them on the path to self-sufficiency. A hand up goes a lot further than a handout!
Better schools, before and after school programs, state of the art educational equipment, lower teacher-to-student ratios, and better-paid teachers can make a difference right here in the community.
Our churches can and should develop evangelical missionaries to draw [the community] to Jesus Christ to help overcome poverty. The bible says the poor will always be with us, but that does not necessarily mean those of a lower financial status.
Rev. Gregory Alexander, II, is an evangelist in South Los Angeles.