Ministering to the Poor
Jesus came to save the whole world. But Jesus’ primary audience in ministry was the poor.
He established this when he declared, “The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has appointed me to preach the gospel to the Poor…” Luke 4:18.
Ministering to the poor should be our primary assignment and focus. We should also pay attention to the rich, but should give greater attention to the poor.
The poor are easier to minister to if we understand the psychology of the poor. The poor are often holistically poor. That is, they are often poor spiritually, physically, mentally and materially. So, any ministry to the poor must be holistic, by providing all round solutions to their poverty – spiritual, physical, mental, and material.
The poor often do not ask too many questions and don’t often come with a sense of entitlement.
Ministering to the rich could be easy on the surface, but they come with a sense entitlement. We spend so much to provide a conducive worship environment to attract the rich to come to church. And when they come and discover that their high expectations are not met they quit.
The essence of ministering to the poor is to pull them out of poverty – spiritually, physically, materially, economically, etc. If your ministry to the poor is not designed to deliver in this holistic manner, you’re not particularly out to get the poor fully out of poverty.
It’s time for minister to reconsider their Ministry operations. Are you focused on the poor? What ministry services are you offering the poor to holistically pull them out of poverty? We should not offer half-baked ministry to the poor. We can do more because we are called to do more.
The poor are often sick in their bodies and can’t afford good medicare; they can’t afford good food to eat; they lack good clothes to wear; do not have access to clean water; do not have good shelter; they easily fall foul of the law and end up in prison. They poor are easily manipulated spiritually by “spiritual quacks” who offer them fake solutions to their problems, only to turn round to take advantage of them.
If you are in ministry, the poor needs your ministry much more than the rich does. And you know what? When Jesus comes around to check our ministry impact, he is going to judge us on his own terms, based on his words: ” _For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me’._ Matt. 25:35 & 36.
It’s time for us to refocus our ministries and give greater attention to the condition of the poor in our society. Incidentally, the poor are more in number than the rich. So the field for ministry is massive.
The poor are spiritually hungry. Let’s give them the pure word of God to assuage that hunger. Let’s go beyond that and develop workable solutions to the other dimensions of their poverty. Let’s be proactive. Deliberate. Committed. Let’s be passionate about pulling the poor out of poverty. The Spirit of God is excited when the poor is pulled out of poverty – holistically, not one dimension only – the spiritual dimension. Ask Him to give you strategies to engage in holistic ministry. A holistic ministry to the poor reduces corruption.
Jesus came to minister to the poor. Let’s follow His footsteps, if we are truly His disciples.
(C) Rev. Joseph C. Ibekwe