Churches should be at the focal point of social welfare. It is their responsibility to tend to the needs of society in all aspects of addressing needs of people. This includes, but not exhaustive, feeding the hungry, counseling, and social justice.
In feeding the hungry, the church should have a pantry where people can come to attain a can of food and some bread or other combination of wholesome food that will sustain an individual or family who is in desperate need of physical nourishment. This is primary in serving the community where poverty strikes. A potluck for the congregation, with an invitation to the local neighborhood would be in order to satisfy the hunger need of that people. During festivals, the whole area could be invited to help celebrate where worship happens, which is at the church. Other engagements may also include the whole community and it may be good practice to make people feel welcome and comfortable, without forcing the message down the throats of people who just want a meal. To genuinely show that the church is place of refuge and safety, where people can come to gain reprieve from a hurtful world, would make the whole community a place of grace.
When counseling, one is not only concerned about the individual state, but also the relationships surrounding that individual. A psychological assessment is a good way to help ones mental state often caused by the pain caused in relational interactions with parents, siblings, and friends. When these ties are address, the individual must be able to identify their own thoughts and feelings about the issues surrounding the relationships. The first step is to do a self evaluation of ones own faults and misgivings. When this evaluation is complete, the individual must be guided towards Jesus. Once this is complete, then touching upon the other major relationships in ones life can be mended. If this includes getting that person to a safe place with people who actually care about that individual, then arrangements should be made to bring this person into a community of people who share the same thoughts and feelings that will heal a broken heart. Marriage and family therapy is similar, but, it may or may not be as easy. The counselor is tending to multiple hearts and thoughts that have a dynamic and chemistry of its own. When all of the chemicals are cleansed and the water is purified, then all of the water that is flowing out of each individual in the family, can be shared as good water. A open dialog is vital in any relationship, free from judgement and free from retribution.
Although there are so many things that must be addressed in for the betterment of society, the ministry of the church must be filled with those who are called and who have a heart for that specific social issue. There is a place in each heart that desires to heal those in need. When starting or joining an already existing ministry, prayer is important in what direction to take. In addition to this, each individual will be giving a little responsibility. And if faithful with this little bit of responsibility, more responsibility will be giving.
Finally, for those already in ministry, taking time to rest and taking a Sabbath is vital to the physical, mental and spiritual health of those ministering. There will be much difficulty when serving and taking time for oneself is important. Spending time with friends that care about what one are doing and bring filled each day and week will bring fresh faith and renewed spirit to ones ministry. Prayer for each person ministering and encouragement can not be neglected. Being rooted is one thing, but being watered and nourished to continue growing in faith is just as important for the new person as is with the person who has been running the show for years. Thankfulness and appreciation for those ministering is a must, so be sure to recognize those people with an occasional hug.