The Three Hands of Ministry
Most ministry involves three kinds of hands.
- A hand out to those less fortunate. We give food, extend mercy, and love unconditionally.
- A hand up to those trying to be empowered to make it on their own. We teach someone how to fish, or plan, or work so that they can feed their families.
- A hand across to those who need a relationship.
The book of Acts teaches how the early church reached across to the needs of others. They didn’t leave people isolated but introduced them to a living relationship with a risen Lord. Then, they incorporated them into the community.
Take the examples of the lame men in Acts 3 and 14. Both have been left to beg for a hand out in full view of people going to the Jewish temple (Acts 3) and the Greek temple (Acts 14). Both were left near the steps of their faith. A hand out from friends was not enough. Neither was a hand up. Someone could carry these men and place them in their locations, but more than anything else, they needed community.
This summer, I encourage you to reach across to those in your network. Even some of the people you see every week at church, or nearby the church, need friends. When we REACH out to others, God does something powerful through us.
Restores Creation. The lame men in Acts are just two examples of many who are restored by the power of God in their lives.
Educates the Ignorant. By reaching across to the lame, we overcome our ignorance. We learn the individual needs of real people and what it’s like to sit in someone else’s shoes.
Advances the Gospel. When we reach across the unreached, the gospel advances. It’s that simple. Acts 28:28 says that the gospel continued unhindered.
Calls for Commitment. By reaching across to others, we invite them into a commitment with Christ that demands a response now.
Heals our Lives. By responding to the needs in front of us, the broken places of our lives are healed.
Where is Christ sending you? Look no further than the distance you can reach.