Send Relief, the compassion ministry arm of Southern Baptists, is encouraging churches to engage their communities by meeting needs and building bridges for sharing the gospel to commemorate Send Relief Sunday on August 7.
On the SBC calendar, the month of August represents an opportunity for churches to focus on Christian service, and Send Relief has resources for churches designed to help them plan a backpack day for their communities.
Southern Baptists can also donate as Send Relief supports international churches and partners who are conducting similar backpack outreaches to their communities.
“Send Relief is passionate about serving churches nationally and internationally as they carry out Jesus’s Great Commission through ministries of compassion,” said Send Relief president Bryant Wright.
“When churches are able to meet tangible needs in their communities, so many doors open for them to start meeting spiritual needs. Church members build relationships with those they meet and can then share the gospel.”
All Send Relief compassion ministry efforts center on creating opportunity for gospel conversations. Send Relief, a cooperative effort through the North American Mission Board and the International Mission Board, saw more than 37,000 people profess faith in Christ in 2021.
One benefit of compassion ministry is that it offers a tangible expression of grace for those who have yet to believe the gospel.
“A world that doesn’t know Christ might not understand spiritual things, but they do understand physical needs,” Wright said. “They see the effects of poverty, homelessness and abuse.”
Without displaying compassionate care for tangible needs, Wright said, the church may face an uphill battle when it comes to gospel proclamation.
“If they look at the church and sense that we’re uncaring toward physical needs, they may be less inclined to hear us when we talk of their spiritual need,” Wright said.
“On the other hand, when they see the church living out ministries of compassion,” he noted, “they become more interested in hearing why we do what we do. It’s all about the gospel.”
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