We launched a new initiative at Welcome Church on Sunday. We’re calling it Welcome Works.
When Jesus started his ministry he described what he had come to do like this:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim GOOD NEWS TO THE POOR.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.” Luke 4v18-19
The poor includes those who are “spiritually poor” – people who do not know God – and it also includes those who are physically poor in all sorts of ways – people who are in need, or are sick, or in prison, or oppressed, or in debt, or stuck in addiction – they all matter.
God cares about the poor and those in need.
The Bible is full of verses describing our call to remember the poor. Here are just a few sample verses, picked from among many:
- “Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked” – Psalm 82v3-4
- “Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward them for what they have done” – Proverbs 19v17
- “The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern” – Proverbs 29v7
- “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world” – James 1v27 … an interesting verse in which God seems to give as much weight to caring for the poor as he does to personal holiness
Every Christian and every church has a part to play in caring for the poor …
… so as a church we’re launching a new approach to this area of our church life and we’re calling it Welcome Works. To support this initiative a whole new section of our website has now gone live and you can access it by clicking here.
Welcome Church is involved in many different projects that aim to bring help to those in need in our community and further afield. Welcome Works is the unifying banner that pulls all of these together.
There are some amazing things going on among us! Check out the website to see what they are. Some of these things we do as a church, some we do in partnership with other churches or agencies and some are done by individuals as part of their personal calling.
There is a lot going on and each of these things matter.
There are too many things being done to list them all, but we’ve brought a number of them together under the title ‘Welcome Works’. We are doing this to create a context where we can give greater profile to them. We want to create a context where we’re making it easier for people to get involved or to seek help from them.
We want to create a more coordinated approach to those we help, for example some people may need help from more than one ministry. We want to enable the sharing of resources – people, skills, facilities, courses. We want to work more smoothly alongside other agencies or churches. This will also help us to give better oversight and support to the people who serve in these different ministries.
These areas of our ministry are central to the heart of Jesus so they must not be on the sidelines of our church life.
We want to talk about them, embrace them, give profile to them and encourage everybody to get involved in them. Our launch of this initiative also coincides with a whole preaching series about God’s heart for the poor. You can hear the first one by clicking here.
During the series we’ll also hear from some of the Welcome Works we are involved in as a church. This week we heard about some of the work we do in two local prisons. Is that where God wants you to get involved?
As we go through this series, let God speak to you. Keep listening to him carefully each week. He may lead you in a direction that could surprise you and set you on an adventure!