3 Reasons Why Christians May Want to Consider Serving The Poor

Among Christians lately there seems to be a debate (shocking I know) of what is most important: sharing the Gospel (evangelism) or showing the Gospel (social action).

As of March 5, 2012 at 9:07 am…this is where I land….

First, we should stop debating this, and second, we shouldn’t prioritize these as separate because in the Gospel they come together.

Simply put, if we truly believe that “Jesus Christ is Lord” we will both talk about Jesus, and live to see his kingdom come. We will both “share” and “show” the Gospel.

One of the best ways we can “show” the Gospel in our cities, communities, and neighborhoods is in our service and love for the poor. If you are a Christian here are 3 reasons you may want to consider serving the poor:


That’s right, we don’t have to wonder “what would Jesus do?” because we already know what he did; he came not to be served, but to serve….” (Mathew 20:26-28) 

If Jesus is the head of the Church (he is), and Jesus came not to be served but to serve, then it seems like a pretty good idea for his Church to be known for their servanthood.

If you follow Jesus you have more reason to be a servant in your community than anybody on the planet.


Jesus broke it down for us when he said that it all hangs on 2 things: love God with everything AND love your neighbor as yourself (paraphrase Mathew 22:37-40)…..which begs the question: who is my neighbor?

That’s the same question that Jesus answered in Luke 10:25-37 in the story known as the good Samaritan.

Basically, Jesus taught that being a good neighbor was to be like a guy who provided medical care, transportation, housing, money, and showed compassion to his…..enemy.

Yep. maybe this whole “love your neighbor” thing is going to cost us a bit more than we like….


Not only is this a great song by my friend Aaron (I know…I’m such a name dropper) but when the church lives a life together of service to the poor in our cities, we are a foretaste of the kingdom that is to come.

We feed the hungry because we belong to a kingdom where one day there will be no hunger.

We serve orphans because we belong to a kingdom where none will be fatherless.

We comfort the hurting because we belong to a kingdom where one day there will be no more tears.

So there are 3 reasons why if we follow Jesus we may want to consider serving the poor…

As a bonus….here is a bad reason for doing the same thing:


Don’t serve the poor to earn Gods favor…it won’t work.

Besides, In Christ you already have his favor…so stop trying to earn what is already yours. Grace is better than you think it is.


Tim Keller’s “Generous Justice”

Brandon Hatmaker’s “Barefoot Church”

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