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  • Writer's pictureRandy Nabors



1. Trouble is coming, so start planning for it. Figure out how much of your budget you can set aside to handle financial emergencies. Things like medical or funeral expenses, emergency travel, and housing and utility problems your people may encounter.

2. Trouble is coming, so figure out who is going to handle it. Who will you recruit, train, deploy, and support to handle the mercy issues that will arise? A church planter needs to find this person fairly soon, someone who is gifted or passionate about mercy. Warning: passion doesn’t equal the gift of administration.

3. Trouble is coming, so decide ahead of time which problems your church can and should meet. You are not Jesus, and you can’t help everybody. Figure out your congregation’s gifts, capacities, and seek to do a few things well rather than everything.

4. Trouble is coming, so begin relationships with people before they come to you for financial help. We can help people more, both financially and spiritually, if we have a relationship with them before they need our financial help. Be proactive in pursuing relationships (sounds like evangelism to me) with people in the community.

5. Trouble is coming, so don’t start more of it by showing mercy without wisdom. We can start more trouble by making people dependent, not treating them with dignity, not asking them to try and help themselves, or by asking our people to keep meeting needs without giving them the training, resources, and support they need to do it well.

6. Help is coming, if you will cast vision to your people about compassion, mercy, generosity, and the possibility of change in people’s lives.

7. Help is coming, if you will use spiritual weapons in physical circumstances. If you will learn to pray and believe God can change circumstances, if you will challenge people to have faith, if you will encourage people to follow Biblical principles in pursuing work, savings, and sharing.

8. Change is coming, even for the generationally poor, if you bring them into relational discipleship. People need to be in good churches, hearing good theology, and being loved on and held accountable, and as they have faith in Jesus their lives will change.

9. Change is coming, if you will teach your congregation to love their neighborhood and love on the community. The people of the community need to realize your church has an identity of loving and caring beyond itself, and this will give your church influence in the community. This influence you should use for doing good and giving glory to God.

10. Change is coming, if you will call on wealthier and suburban churches to help you meet the challenge of poor communities. God’s people are people of mercy and we need to give them avenues of effective impact to change the lives of the poor to whom Jesus was sent to preach good news.

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