Churches often support their communities by offering food assistance programs. These programs can come in various forms, including food pantries, soup kitchens, and meal delivery services.
Food pantries, usually located in the church, provide individuals in need with items such as canned goods, cereal, pasta, and other non-perishable food products. Some pantries might also have fresh fruits and vegetables, bread, and meat. Operating hours for these pantries vary, with some being open on a routine schedule and others having designated days and times.
Soup kitchens are established to serve hot meals to those who require them. The meals are usually served in a communal area like a church dining hall or cafeteria. Some soup kitchens may operate during lunch or dinner, while others might provide meals all day long. Additionally, some churches have mobile soup kitchens that move around to different locations to serve hot meals.
Churches often offer meal delivery services for people who are unable to leave their homes due to illness or disability. Volunteers from these churches are responsible for picking up and delivering the meals to those in need.
Along with food assistance, some churches may also offer financial support to families, such as assistance with bills, clothes, and furniture.
Aside from providing basic necessities, churches also aim to help people move out of poverty and become independent by offering support and resources. This may include job training, budget counseling, and other means to achieve self-sufficiency.
It's worth mentioning that churches aren't the sole providers of food assistance. Non-profits and government organizations offer similar services as well. Nonetheless, the role of churches in providing food assistance in their communities is crucial, particularly in regions where resources are limited.
In conclusion, churches play a significant role in reducing food insecurity in their communities through food assistance programs, meal delivery services, and other support. They also provide resources and guidance to aid people in overcoming poverty and achieving self-sufficiency.
Christian after-school programs for kids are designed to provide a safe and nurturing environment for children to learn and grow in their faith. These programs typically include a mix of activities such as Bible study, prayer, worship, and service projects. Many programs also incorporate educational activities such as homework assistance, tutoring, and enrichment activities.
One popular Christian after-school program is Awana, which stands for Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed. Awana is a global organization that offers a variety of programs for children, including Cubbies (for preschoolers), Sparks (for kindergarten through 2nd grade), T&T (for 3rd through 6th grade), and Trek and Journey (for middle and high school students). These programs focus on teaching children about God's love and character through Bible study, games, and other activities.
Another well-known Christian after-school program is Good News Club, a ministry of Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF). Good News Club is a weekly program that takes place in schools, homes, and community centers. The program teaches children about the Bible, the love of Jesus, and how to live a Christian life through songs, Bible stories, and memory verses.
In addition to these well-established programs, many churches and youth organizations also offer Christian after-school programs for children. These programs may include Bible study, worship, and service projects, as well as opportunities for children to build relationships with other believers and grow in their faith.
Christian after-school programs can also provide a sense of community and belonging for children, especially if they come from non-Christian families or families who do not attend church regularly. Many programs offer opportunities for children to form friendships with other children who share their faith, which can be incredibly valuable for children as they navigate their formative years.
It's also worth mentioning that many Christian after-school programs are open to children of all faith backgrounds and are inclusive of all types of families. The goal of these programs is to provide an environment where children can learn about God's love and character, and grow in their faith regardless of their background.
Overall, Christian after-school programs for kids can be a great way for children to learn about God, grow in their faith, and form friendships with other believers. They can also provide a sense of community and belonging for children, and offer valuable opportunities for children to develop their spiritual, academic and social skills. It is important for parents to research and carefully evaluate different programs to find one that aligns with their child's needs, interests, and schedule.
They should also communicate with the program's leaders to understand the program's goals, curriculum, and volunteer requirements. Many Christian after-school programs offer scholarships or financial aid to families who need it. All in all, Christian after-school programs can be a wonderful way for children to learn more about God and grow in their faith while also receiving academic support and having fun with other children.
In Christianity, the concepts of Christian mission and discipleship are closely linked. Christian missionaries are individuals or groups who strive to spread the teachings of Christianity to those who may not be familiar with the religion. They often travel to other countries or to remote regions within their own country to reach those who are not yet familiar with the Christian faith.
Discipleship is the process of becoming a follower of Jesus Christ and learning to live according to His teachings. It often involves instruction and mentoring from a more experienced Christian, known as a spiritual mentor or guide.
Christian missionaries play a vital role in the discipleship process by introducing people to the teachings of Jesus Christ and helping them understand the faith. They do this through sharing the Bible, leading worship services and other religious ceremonies, and providing aid and support to the communities where they are working.
As people begin to learn more about the Christian faith and the teachings of Jesus Christ, they may choose to become followers of Christ and begin the process of discipleship. This process typically involves a period of instruction and mentoring by a more experienced Christian, who can help guide them in their understanding of the faith and in their efforts to live according to the teachings of Jesus.
During this process, the new believer may be taught about the doctrines of the faith, the importance of prayer and worship, how to read and study the Bible, and how to live a life that is pleasing to God. Missionaries may also teach about the sacraments, such as baptism and the Lord’s Supper, and the importance of living a life of service to others.
As new believers deepen their understanding of the faith and their connection with God, they will be encouraged to actively participate in sharing the message of Christianity with others. This may include inviting friends and family to church, sharing the Gospel with those they encounter, and even becoming a missionary themselves.
The ultimate goal of Christian missionaries is to assist people in becoming fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ and to aid them in growing in their faith. Discipleship is an ongoing process that continues throughout a person's lifetime. Missionaries and spiritual mentors play a crucial role in this process by helping new believers comprehend the faith, encouraging them to live according to Jesus' teachings, and providing guidance and support as they continue to grow in their faith.
Christians have played a significant role in providing social welfare throughout history. Many Christian denominations have established charities and other organizations to help the poor, the sick, and the marginalized. For example, the Catholic Church has a long history of operating hospitals, schools, and soup kitchens, and many Protestant denominations have established orphanages and other institutions to help children in need. Additionally, many individual Christians have been involved in charitable work and activism to help those in need.
The belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ, which focus on love and compassion for others, is often a motivation for Christians to engage in social welfare. The Bible contains numerous passages that call on believers to care for the poor and the needy, such as James 2:15-17, which states, "Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead." This verse highlights the importance of Christians to put their faith into action by helping those in need.
Christian charities and organizations have played a vital role in providing social welfare services around the world. For example, World Vision, a Christian humanitarian organization, works to combat poverty, hunger, and injustice in more than 90 countries. Similarly, the Salvation Army, a Christian denomination, operates shelters, rehab centers, and disaster relief services in countries all over the world. Many other Christian organizations such as Compassion International, Catholic Relief Services and Tear Fund also work to provide social welfare services such as education, health care and community development.
Additionally, many individual Christians have been involved in various social welfare causes and movements throughout history. For example, during the 19th century, Christians such as William Wilberforce and Harriet Tubman were instrumental in the abolition of slavery and the Underground Railroad, respectively. Similarly, in the 20th century, Christians such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Mother Teresa were leaders in the Civil Rights Movement and the fight against poverty, respectively.
In conclusion, Christians have played a significant role in providing social welfare throughout history. Many Christian denominations have established charities and other organizations to help the poor, the sick, and the marginalized, and many individual Christians have been involved in charitable work and activism to help those in need. The belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ is often a motivation for Christians to engage in social welfare. Today, there are many Christian charities and organizations that continue to make positive impact in local communities and around the world by providing social welfare services.
Christian relief programs in war zones are efforts by Christian organizations and churches to provide aid and support to people affected by war and other forms of violence. These programs may include providing food, shelter, medical care, and other forms of humanitarian aid. They may also include efforts to rebuild communities and provide education and other forms of support to help people recover from the effects of war.
Christian relief programs in war zones are typically run by Christian humanitarian organizations, such as World Vision, Samaritan's Purse, and other Christian aid groups. These organizations work in partnership with local churches and other religious groups, as well as with government agencies and other non-governmental organizations, to provide aid and support to people in need.
In war zones, Christian relief programs often focus on providing emergency aid to people who have been displaced from their homes by violence. This can include providing food, water, and other basic necessities, as well as shelter and medical care. These programs may also provide psychological support and other forms of assistance to help people cope with the trauma of war.
Christian relief programs also work to rebuild communities and provide education and other forms of support to help people recover from the effects of war. This can include building schools, hospitals, and other infrastructure, as well as providing vocational training and other forms of education to help people find employment and support themselves.
In addition to providing aid and support to people affected by war, Christian relief programs in war zones may also focus on promoting peace and reconciliation. This can include efforts to bring warring parties together for negotiations and peace talks, as well as programs to promote understanding and tolerance between different groups.
It is important to note that Christian relief programs in war zones may face significant challenges and dangers, as they are often operating in areas that are highly unstable and dangerous. Missionaries and aid workers may be at risk of kidnapping, harm or death. Therefore, Christian organizations take great care to ensure the safety and security of their staff and volunteers, and they are typically very experienced in working in difficult and dangerous environments.
In summary, Christian relief programs in war zones are efforts by Christian organizations and churches to provide aid and support to people affected by war and other forms of violence. These programs may include providing food, shelter, medical care, and other forms of humanitarian aid, rebuilding communities and providing education and other forms of support to help people recover from the effects of war, and promoting peace and reconciliation. These efforts may face significant challenges and dangers in war zones, but Christian organizations take great care to ensure the safety and security of their staff and volunteers and they have significant experience working in difficult and dangerous environments.
Christian missionaries are individuals or groups who are dedicated to spreading the teachings of Jesus Christ to people who may not be familiar with the religion. They often travel to other countries or to remote areas within their own country in order to reach those who are not yet familiar with the Christian faith.
One of the primary ways that Christian missionaries share the message of Christianity is through the sharing of the Bible. Missionaries will often give out copies of the Bible in the local language and explain its teachings to those who are interested. They may also lead Bible studies and other religious education programs to help people learn more about the faith.
In addition to sharing the teachings of Jesus, Christian missionaries often provide other forms of aid to the communities where they are working. This can include building schools and hospitals, providing education and healthcare services, and helping to establish other social programs. The goal of these efforts is not only to help the people they are working with, but also to demonstrate the love and compassion of the Christian faith in a tangible way.
One of the ultimate goals of Christian missionaries is to convert people to Christianity and help them live according to the teachings of the religion. Missionaries will often spend a significant amount of time building relationships with the people they are working with and helping them to understand the faith in a way that is meaningful to them. This can include explaining the beliefs and practices of Christianity and addressing any questions or concerns that people may have.
It is important to note that the work of Christian missionaries has been subject to criticism over the centuries, with accusations of cultural imperialism, forced conversions, and other human rights violations. Missionaries are encouraged to respect the culture and customs of the people they are working with, and to do their work in a way that is sensitive to the local context.
Despite these criticisms, Christian missionaries continue to work in many parts of the world today. They are driven by a deep belief in the power of the Jesus to change lives and bring hope to people in need. Their work can be challenging and often difficult, but they are committed to spreading the message of Jesus Christ to as many people as possible.
For centuries some kind of social welfare has deeply impacted society. In modern day, charitable organizations can have a positive impact on communities by providing assistance to those in need, promoting education and public health, and building community infrastructure. These are just a few examples of how charity can positively impact communities and overall society.
One specific benefit of charity organizations is that they often provide basic necessities such as food, clothing, shelter, etc. to individuals and families in need. These things greatly contribute to improving their quality of life and also assists them in getting back on their feet. The existence of upporting local economies: Charitable organizations often purchase goods and services from local businesses, which can help stimulate economic activity and support local job growth.
Promoting education: Many charitable organizations support education, either by providing funding for schools or by offering educational programs and resources. This can help improve educational outcomes and promote social mobility.
Improving public health: Charitable organizations can help improve public health by providing medical care or promoting healthy behaviors. This can lead to improved health outcomes for individuals and communities.
Building community infrastructure: Charitable organizations may also help fund the construction of community centers, libraries, and other facilities that provide important services to local residents.
Overall, charitable organizations can have a positive and lasting impact on communities by providing assistance to those in need, supporting local economies and education, and improving public health and community infrastructure.
Afghanistan is one of the most dangerous nations in the world to follow Jesus. Following the Taliban's takeover of the country in August 2021, the dangers have only gotten worse. Openly following Christianity and other religions or even attempting to share about it in this Muslim majority nation can result in people facing fines, prison time, or even death. Consequences are even more severe for Afghan nationals who convert from Islam to Christianity, as it's considered blasphemous.
Despite the difficult situations and the consequences that could follow, the Church in Afghanistan is still very much alive, well, and thriving. Global Catalytic Ministries and those they partner with continue to further the gospel of Jesus Christ within the country.
GCM published a press release on August 15, 2022, the first anniversary of the Taliban takeover. They shared that
"over the last year they were able to extract over 3,000 individuals, providing them with food, shelter, and safety. One leader has seen over 5,000 people have a power encounter with Jesus, giving their lives to Christ. He is baptizing over 60 people at a time, sometimes with a simple water bottle."
In an effort to practically support the people of Afghanistan, GCM continues to raise funds to provide food, coal, and wood, etc. to keep people alive especially during the harsh winter months. GCM has partnered with churches and individuals to get the needed funding to continue supporting believers and unbelievers alike within Afghanistan's border.
" 'Our efforts to bring hope and resources to the people of Afghanistan continue a year into the Taliban regime, and it wouldn’t be possible without the generosity of our supporters,' states Richardson. 'These precious people are grateful for every prayer and donation. They not only help physically, but spiritually as well, allowing them to share the love and peace of Christ with their Muslim brothers and sisters.' " (excerpt from GCM Press Release).
Partner with GCM in their mission to make disciples in the hardest and darkest places here.
As previously discussed, there are a multitude of organizations around the world that seek to further spread the message of Jesus. In certain parts of the world, this is very much illegal and believers continually disobey the rules and laws established by their governments. A few years ago, there was a documentary released that explores the rapid growth of the underground church in hostile regions like this, and specifically looks at the nation of Iran.
Home to the fastest growing church in the world today, Iran's underground church movement is predominately led by women. There is a movement inside of Iran and Jesus is coming to the people in dreams, visions, and power encounters. As a result, the regime is losing control of its people as they begin to fall in love with Israel's messiah, Jesus.
Throughout the film, there are numerous interviews with Iranian believers as they share very moving testimonies of how they met Jesus and how He continues to work in their lives. In addition to that, Sheep Among Wolves explores the differences between the church in the East and the church in the West. The East is seeing rapid growth and the West is not. What are the methods of discipleship that the East is using and how might we in the West be able to learn from them?
The Sheep Among Wolves film also highlights the difference between the reality of normal Iranian life and what is portrayed in the media. Oftentimes, westerners assume that many Iranians are hostile toward the west and share the government's radical views. However, the film talks about the reality that a small percentage of religious and governmental leaders are actually the ones who control the image through the media. Iranians are actually leading "a quiet but mass exodus out of Islam."
Volumes one and two of the Sheep Among Wolves documentaries were released by FAI Studios, founded by Dalton Thomas. The first installment of Sheep Among Wolves was released in 2016, with volume two being released in 2019. You can find both of these films, along with other works from FAI Studios, for free on their YouTube channel.
To watch Sheep Among Wolves Vol. 2, click here.
The final words Jesus spoke to His followers before His ascension are known as the "Great Commission." This is when Jesus famously charged His followers to, "Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."
Over the many decades and centuries since that time, there have been various missions initiatives established to further the Gospel of Jesus. Christians are not the only ones who establish organizations and send out missionaries; there are many other religions that do something similar in efforts to spread their beliefs. Today though, we are focusing on talking about Christian missions and specifically Christians who focus on sharing the Gospel with Jewish people.
Jesus was of course, a Jew and Christians look to that heritage as what they have now been "grafted into" using the language of the apostle Paul. In the days of Jesus, many of the religious leaders wrote Him off believing Him to be at best a prophet, at worst a blasphemer and child of the devil. Still today, there is a lot of misunderstanding and confusion in the Jewish community about who Jesus really is. Christians believe the words of Jesus, that He really is the only way, truth, and life and so they desire to see Jews, the people of Jesus, come into salvation and accept Him as Messiah.
To this end, there are Christian missions organizations directed specifically to reaching the Jewish community. In 1996, a ministry called Apple of His Eye was established. Its main goal is to proclaim Jesus as the Messiah to Jewish and non-Jewish people. The organization seeks to accomplish this by opening places of worship and evangelizing in areas with large Jewish populations.
In its beginnings, the organization created homemade gospel tracts. Written tracts have been around for many, many years and were typically religious. In recent years, these gospel tracts are usually brief pamphlets that are given to people or left in busy places. Apple of His Eye has written over 120 new gospel tracts, and over 600,000 have been distributed.
Steve Cohen is currently the head of the organization, and his wife Nancy leads the women’s ministry. A board of directors oversees the actions and finances of the organization and there are also a number of other staff members. Apple of His Eye offers various outreach opportunities for anyone who desires to become involved in any capacity. The organization also offers up to two-week mission trips. The organization's staff team gives all of the necessary training, and there is no requirement of religious affiliation or experience with missions.
This is just one example of many, many different missions organizations around the world. As Keith Green wrote so famously in one of his songs, "Jesus commands us to go, it should be the exception if we stay."