Listed below is a growing compilation of resources which will assist you in engaging more broadly and deeply in ministries of mercy.
Can You Pay This Bill? (Presented 6/18/13 by Chris Sicks at the 41st General Assembly) If your church or non-profit has a phone number or a doorbell, you probably get requests for financial help. People ask for rent, utilities, food, gasoline, etc. What is the right response? How does God want us to use His resources? For whom, for what, and in what ways? What are the respective roles of the pastor, deacons, office staff, and congregation? How can we respond in a way that invites people into relationship, while being responsible, and Biblical?
Presentation slides | Workshop Outline | Examples of Calls
The Christian Reformed Church of Canada has excellent online resources describing best practices in mercy ministry.
Global Rich List — How would you define "rich" and "poor?" Where are you on on the spectrum between them? A quick visit to Global Rich List will give you a global perspective. Follow that by reading Jeremiah 9:23-24 and Matthew 6:19-34.
PCA Mercy Ministries website — Since the founding of the Presbyterian Church in America in 1973, the denomination has grown steadily in her commitment to mercy ministries. Today, these ministries have assumed four basic organizational forms with growing numbers in each category. Many of them are independent, parachurch ministries that address communities and people in need. Some are ministries based in suburban churches that supply funding, leadership and volunteers to work in communities of need. Some are inner-city churches whose ministry focus is solely the community of need. Still others are churches planted in affluent center-city areas, with the mercy ministry a defining core value of the church’s life and work.
Chalmers Center — The Chalmers Center at Covenant College is a research and training organization that equips churches with economic development strategies that holistically empower people who are poor. By uniting cutting edge research, micro-economic development interventions, and social entrepreneurship principles, the Chalmers Center grows the capacity of the local church to transform the lives of low-income people without creating dependency.
Christian Community Development Association — The Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) is a network of Christians committed to seeing people and communities holistically restored. We believe that God wants to restore us not only to right relationship with Himself but also with our own true selves, our families and our communities. Not just spiritually, but emotionally, physically, economically, and socially. Not by offering mercy alone, but by undergirding mercy with justice.
Tangible—Making God Known Through Deeds of Mercy and Words of Truth by Chris Sicks — God reveals himself to hurting people, and he can use you to do it—through deeds of mercy and words of truth. This book is all about making God's grace Tangible.
Ministries of Mercy by Tim Keller — Every APC deacon and Mercy Committee member reads this book at the beginning of their ministry.
When Helping Hurts by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert — Excellent look at how to help people without creating dependency. More training and resources available through The Chalmers Center.
These outlines help you walk another person through helpful passages of scripture.
A Mercy Ministry "Sandwich" — Acts 2:41-47 — The Deacons and Mercy Committee of APC use Acts 2:41-47 to explain our philosophy of mercy ministry. In short, we prefer to offer material assistance in the context of a church community that worships, prays, fellowships and learns together.
Encouraging the Downcast Using Psalm 77 — Painful circumstances can paralyze us with fear and cause us to lose sight of God. In Psalm 77, Asaph cries out to God. Then, Asaph preaches the gospel to himself. He is encouraged about the future when he remembers God's faithfulness in the past.