The church has always been known for her benevolence. From the earliest days when believers shared their positions to their treatment of orphans and widows I believe where the church has gotten Jesus the most is in her benevolence. The church is a giving church. The church is a sacrificial church. People know her for her generosity. She is the Proverbs 31 women in congregational form.
One of the questions that I think is helpful to ask of a congregation is, if this church died and shut the doors, would anyone notice. I believe the answer to that question is typically, yes. I am not saying every church has it together but I do believe that we mostly get generosity right. In the churches I have attended and ministered at, I have seen countless instances of people meeting the needs of strangers as well as other Christians. Since people don’t talk about their private good works, it is hard to gauge how much private acts of meeting needs takes place but my theory is that in any given congregation, the amount of assistance that is given out by the congregation privately far exceeds the budgeted money.
Churches forgo many things in order to maintain a benevolent spirit. I believe this is one of the things we have gotten right and I believe it is a beautiful thing that continues to make the bride of Christ gorgeous.
How has your congregation shown her benevolent spirit?