In His earthly ministry Christ worked out a pattern for His followers to copy. He “went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed” (Acts 10:38). Christ identified with the poor and oppressed. “He fed the hungry and healed the sick. . . By the good He accomplished, by His loving words and kindly deeds, He interpreted the Gospel to men,” comments Ellen White. “Christ’s work in behalf of man is not finished. It continues today. In like manner His ambassadors are to preach the gospel and to reveal His pitying love for lost and perishing souls.
By an unselfish interest in those who need help they are to give a practical demonstration of the truth of the gospel” (Welfare Ministry, pages 56-57).
When a church serves the world it is an expression of the love of Christ to the world. It is the body of Christ serving the world’s needs and being used by the Holy Spirit as an agency of salvation.
The church was created for service. It serves the Lord in praise, serves one another in love, and serves the world in humility. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works” (Eph. 2:10).
Functions of the CARE Ministry
The major functions and tasks of the CARE Ministry are the following:
1. Discovering the needs of the community. A needs assessment of the surrounding area is done periodically.
2. Mobilizing a response to specific concerns. The CARE Ministry together with the church identifies social concerns to which it is capable of responding to.
3. Organization of programs. The CARE Ministry recruits volunteers and arranges details of disaster relief programs, entry events (activities through which non-members participate for the first time in a church-sponsored activity), and other social action projects. These will include health screening, aid for the poor, literacy and employment assistance, and inner city programs.
4. Establish cooperation. This ministry works with other organizations in the community so the church does not duplicate services. Contracts have been negotiated at national levels with the Red Cross and government agencies specifying what Adventist Community Services will do in the event of major disasters and related to certain social problems.
5. Communication. Keeps the congregation up-to-date about Adventist Community Services activities, as well as provide information on current issues.