What We Do in Mercy Ministry

Our deacons have a Biblical mandate (Acts 6) to address needs within the Body of Christ, so we have a Deacons’ Fund offering each month to provide for the material needs of our own congregation, and to show the love of Christ to people in our community. The deacons administer these funds, and work together with the men and women of the Mercy Committee to counsel, encourage and pray for those in need.

In an average year, 80% of the money distributed goes to people within our own congregation. The remaining funds are used to share the love of Christ in a tangible way with our community. Every week, several people call the church or show up at our door looking for financial assistance.


Discover Mercy Ministry Resources

For more information and resources, contact Chris Sicks, Pastor of Mercy.

Online

The Christian Reformed Church of Canada has excellent online resources describing best practices in mercy ministry.

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 city-center 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.

Books

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.

Scripture

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.

How You Can Help

Mercy Ministries is very challenging, a work that involves us with people in very personal ways. Even if you aren’t a deacon, there are ways you can help. You can, of course, contribute to the monthly Deacons’ Fund offering. The deacons also need the help of men and women at APC to counsel and encourage the people we support.

To join the Mercy Committee, you need to be a member, attend a training session and meet with the elders. Many other members of the congregation are involved in other ways, particularly with our African Refugee ministry. You don’t have to be a deacon or a Mercy Committee member to show mercy!

Give To Our Deacons’ Fund