In a blog post on Tuesday, the child advocacy ministry, Compassion International answered a very important question: What's the most strategic thing we can do to alleviate poverty?
"There are many efforts behind which we can put our energy and resources, but I," began writer Jeff Galley, overseer of missions at Life Church, "believe one action stands above all others: The most strategic thing we can do to alleviate poverty is strengthen the local church around the world."
Taking care of the poor is one of the privileges of being a Church.
"Wherever your church is located, three mindsets will help you play a vital role in strengthening the local church the world over," Galley explains.
1. A mindset of irrational generosity.
Generosity is an inherent trait of a believer. It's the most natural response to God's gift of grace to want to give out to others - that, and churches teach it.
But, Galley poses this question (to pastors, but it also applies to you), "Am I leading my church to be irrationally generous?"
"Make no mistake," this Oklahoma Church leader says, "Rational generosity is good for us, but irrational generosity makes the global church stronger."
What a challenging thought!
2. A mindset of listening and learning.
"Questions, rather than answers, unlock the secrets of how we can contribute to the local church around the world with our resources," Galley states.
"With rare exceptions, communities do not need our construction manpower, leadership training or baby-holding skills," he says frankly. "What they do need is leaders who have a learning posture."
Rather than coming to others with the agenda of giving them what we think they need, Galley believes we need to ask questions and make connections instead. Acts of service may not always be what a community needs.
3. A mindset of anonymity.
Galley acknowledges that we all globally need each other, but challenges churches and pastors.
"We must relinquish the individual values, philosophies, and theology we’re known for in order to partner with other churches to impact communities, both our own and abroad. Partnership is far more difficult when we have too many non-negotiables," Galley claims.
He suggests we embrace mindsets of what he calls "anonymity". Basically, the attitude we need to eliminate poverty is that we're helping others for their sake, not to help ourselves.
The principles Jeff Galley proposes are directed to a pastor's approach to missions, but they are principles we can all glean from as we become more like God in our generosity.