In today’s world, I’m convinced that more gospel will be preached outside the church buildings and pulpits than there will be within them. In truth, more of a believable gospel will actually be proclaimed in food pantries, homeless shelters, unwed mothers’ home, and prisons than what you will hear articulated from the tongues of the best orators.
One of the contributing actors to the illness of some churches has been their inward and self-serving approach to ministry. Too many continually involve themselves in their own “Sunday huddle,” catering to their own isolated culture of “niceness,” while in the shadows of their steeples, the hungry have no bread and the homeless have no shelter. The church is not fulfilling its mission until it comprehends what it means to be the “salt of the earth” and “the light of the world” (Matthew 5:13-16).
In Matthew 25:35-40, Jesus made it clear that there is a great reward for those who have involved themselves in a ministry to the hungry and destitute. By helping those whom Jesus referred to as “the least of these my brethren,” we actually have rendered ministry to Him. The growing churches in America today are those that are involved in “the-least-of-these” ministry.
Possibly you have read about the horrible sins of Sodom and Gomorrah. But there is an interesting verse of scripture found in Ezekiel 16:49 that speaks loudly to me: “Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed, and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy” (NIV). What an indictment! May these words never be spoken of the church when we stand before God at the judgment.