When people think of “neediness” in our world today, they likely think first of physical poverty. Christians recognize that, according to Moses (Deuteronomy 15:11) and confirmed by Jesus (Matthew 26:11; Mark 14:7; John 12:8), there will always be poverty in the world this side of the grave. Additionally, Christians recognize that there exists another category of poverty, one the biblical prophets might identify as “not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD” (Amos 8:11).
Just as the physically impoverished seek food but cannot find it, many in the world “seek the word of the LORD, but they shall not find it” (Amos 8:12).
In response to the vast array of both physical and spiritual needs in the world, Christians and churches can feel overwhelmed at the prospect of serving these needs. After all, how do we know which places deserve the most attention? Many times we fall into the trap of not being able to help everywhere, and so we don’t help anywhere.
I would like to suggest what I learned from one of my former pastors: no one can do everything, but everyone can do something.
Feeding the Spiritual Famine
A compelling case has been made that prioritizing the work to meet the needs of the spiritual famine through local churches is actually the best way to meet physical needs in the long run. If that is true (and I think it is), then one of the best things Christians and churches can do is to pray for and seek to train up pastors and global workers who can lead local churches in the years to come. One way for this to happen is to assist with the efforts of those participating in global theological education, particularly in parts of the world where resources are scarce.
A Ministry Training & Raising Pastors
Read here about how God is working at Trivandrum Bible College in southern India and how we can join in supporting this strategically-located and academically-accredited institution.
- To learn more about the school and its leadership or to make a contribution, please visit the New Life Ministries page.
- Another way you can assist is to sponsor a current TBC student as they study in preparation for a life of leadership and preaching and teaching the Scriptures. Your generosity can help to offset the costs of their education.
- To meet some of the students, learn their stories, and get involved, please visit the Bold Hope page.
The world is physically and spiritually impoverished. The poor need churches. Churches need pastors. We have limited time and resources. Let us invest in what will last.
- Mez McConnell and Mike McKinley, Church in Hard Places: How the Local Church Brings Life to the Poor and Needy (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2016).
- For an excellent and succinct explanation of the need for global theological education, see Joost Nixon, “Who Will Lead the Global Church in 2118?” at https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/who-will-lead-the-global-church-in-2118.