Our heart is to help people, but sometimes we can find ourselves torn on how to help. Has someone ever asked you for money and you freeze because you aren’t sure how to answer? Have you ever pulled up to a stoplight and see someone asking for food on the corner, and you aren’t sure whether you should make eye contact or not? Maybe the thoughts, “I’m a Christian, I have to give them money,” or “I’m not sure what they’re going to use it for, I don’t want to be an enabler,” have crossed your mind.
How do we respond?
As a church, our mission is to provide holistic services to those in need through pastoral guidance, relational networking and city-wide collaboration. It’s actually a lot easier than it may sound.
So let’s think back, you’re walking to your car and someone stops you and asks you for money.
HERE ARE FIVE THINGS YOU CAN DO:
1. VALIDATE: Respectfully listen to their situation, and sympathize with the problem. It is important to remember we are talking to people who, like all of us, long to be heard and not judged. It may seem easier to rush away from the conversation, but press in and hear their story.
2. AFFIRM: Offer encouragement and support amidst their situation. Try to place yourself in the shoes of the person you are talking to. Would you ever ask a stranger for help unless you really needed it? Think about what you would want to hear if you were in their situation.
3. ASK QUESTIONS: We’re human, we all want to be heard. Dig deeper into their story. Asking questions also allows you to get a greater grip on the situation, so you will know the best resources to point them to.
4. INFORM: Personally, take time to think through how you want to help. Maybe you make a personal resolve to buy someone dinner when you’re asked for food. Or maybe you and your family decide to set money aside to donate to organizations that help the homeless in our city. There are no right or wrong answers, just whatever you feel like the Lord is asking you to do.
- There are also resources you can point people to:
- Antioch Food Pantry: On Thursdays from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m., people can come to the Prayer and Equipping Center (located at Fort and 20th) to receive food. No identification is required, but people can only come once a month.
- Community Feast: The Community Feast happens every Thursday from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. in the Journey Room. Along with dinner, we also have a time of worship and a sermon. Childcare is provided
- Texas 211: Texas 211 connects people to resources in our area that are available to them. All you have to do is dial 211. For more information, visit their website.
- Grace House and Mercy House: These are our drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs for men and women.
For more information on any of these programs, email Kenneth McAdam.
5. PRAY: Through prayer, we see things changed and lives transformed. Take time to pray with the person who just asked for your help. Wait on the Lord, and see what He is speaking for them.