God, give us eyes to see that doing good requires our very best.
What quality of service do the poor deserve? It’s a shocking question. We expect our pastors to craft soul-stirring presentations week after week. We expect worship to be musically excellent. But what about our outreach to the poor? What standards of excellence do we require there?
I love the fact that the Early Church demanded the best when it came to serving the least. Stephen led the first New Testament relief and development ministry, but he wasn’t a volunteer who was arm-twisted into filling a slot. He had to earn the privilege of serving the poor. He had to demonstrate a Spirit-based pattern of living. That’s excellence! He had to exhibit God-given wisdom. Excellence again.
It only makes sense. Stephen and the team needed to work across cultural boundaries. They needed to implement an efficient mass feeding program. And they needed to represent Christ in the process. What’s more, they never viewed it as a second-rate mandate. It was a noble platform for service right alongside the faithful sharing of the gospel.
Never view ministry to the marginalized as easy work performed to a standard of “good enough.” When it came to caring for the poor, the Early Church put their best people on it. It’s no different today. Are you up to the privilege?
Have you ever considered the quality of care the poor need? Have you thought about the kind of people who are called to serve them? And how important is godly character when it comes to sharing food, digging wells, or restoring lives?
Ask God to broaden your thinking when it comes to giving, serving, and caring for the poor. Ask him to create a character in you that’s worthy of the task.
Father, you know what hurting people need. Give me the vision to see what needs to be done. And build my character so that it’s worthy of the people you want me to serve—even if it costs me everything, just like Stephen.