Probably, like me, you were moved in your heart to want to do something to help following the tornado and its destruction in Moore yesterday. I always wonder who can I give money to that will help the most. If I know of a sound church in the area I try to give through them. The reason I do so is because I think this best fits the New Testament pattern.
We see physical and practical needs being met through the church.
Jesse Johnson gives this biblical summary that I find really helpful.
“When there were poor in the church, the elders organized a system to care for their needs (Acts 6:1-7; 1 Tim 5;9). Believers obeyed Jesus’ command and sold their excess goods to care for one another, but they didn’t give the money to outside groups; they gave it to the church, through the church.
The early church met the physical needs of other believers by giving their money to their church (they literally laid it at the Apostle’s feet), and then they allowed the elders to identify the must urgent needs to meet. And when there was famine or desperate poverty in distant lands, the strategy stayed the same. Believers pooled their money and gave it to their churches, who in turn passed it along to churches in need (Rom 15:25-26; 1 Cor 16:1-3).
The wisdom of this approach is obvious. How could a church in Galatia possibly know the most effective way to minister in Jerusalem? How could they really discern between those truly in need, and those whom charity would only further enable? Obviously they couldn’t possibly be expected to know those things. But the elders of the church in Jerusalem would, so Paul wanted to collect the money and give it to the church, who would then give it to the poor.
The same is true today. Take the tragedy in Oklahoma yesterday. Do you want to help? That is good, and a sign of godliness. But how can you know who is in need? If you give to a secular organization, you are trusting your money to a group that obviously does not share your goal of reconciling the world to God through preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. How do you know which homeowners have insurance, and which don’t? How do you know who is in desperate need? How do you possibly know who to give your money to?
The answer is simple. The procedure Paul described in Romans 15 and 1 Corinthians 16 is still effective.”
I am not familiar with any of the churches in Moore. I know one of the pastors as an author but don’t know anything about their church.
So I have given some money through an organization I trust called “Children’s Hunger Fund (CHF)”. They are one of the world’s largest Christians charities, and they distribute their resources through a network of like-minded churches. This network is already established globally, and the churches who are part of it have been trained on how to respond in times of crisis. CHF has as one of its main principles that the resources they give out go to churches, and that the local churches then take the lead on how to use/distribute them. I have met the leadership personally and believe they have genuine integrity in how they handle donations. They have a legacy of maximizing their resources to strengthen affected churches, while furthering the advancement of the gospel.
CHF sure isn’t the only good organization to give to but it is one. Thanks for loving people and praying for the gospel to be advanced through this tragedy.