Over the past several years God has been dealing with me regarding world poverty. I have learned that the average North American enjoys a standard of living that has been unimaginable for most of human history. As North American Christians, we are the wealthiest Christians in the history of the Church. Our society’s vast wealth presents us with an enormous responsibility, for throughout the Scriptures God’s people are commanded to show compassion to the poor. In fact, doing do is simply part of our job description as followers of Jesus Christ (Matthew 25:31-46).
Thinking about such important issues as these have led me to read and study many books, attend seminars, talk to people, and lead our church in new areas. The Hole in Our Gospel book was one such book that has influenced me greatly. Now Karen and I, and others in our church, are sponsoring children in Uganda, east Africa, through World Vision.
God continues to work on my heart and mind. What about generational poverty here in the US, specifically here in my town of Kinston? What can I, what can we do about it, if anything? What is our calling as followers of Jesus Christ in this matter? I have no easy answers, just lots of questions.
Like world poverty, we can’t do everything; but we can do one thing. What can we do to help alleviate generational poverty here in our country? A number of us in the Spilman faith family and in our Kinston community have been reading the book Toxic Charity – How Churches and Charities Hurt Those They Help (And How to Reverse It). Our conversations about the book have been stimulating.
Pray with me and talk with me about what one thing we can do. I have many thoughts. What are your thoughts? Let the conversation continue. God is at work here in our community. God wants to use you and me to further the Kingdom in North Carolina and around the world.
Randy Outland is the pastor of Spilman Baptist Church in Kinston, NC. This article originally appeared in their church newsletter, The Tie.