Our monthly food delivery ministry (find the upcoming dates to serve with us here) is a great way to get involved in the community of Birmingham, Alabama. Our volunteers go out, once a month, all over Birmingham to deliver food boxes to families in need of food. But, it’s about so much more than food… we seek to build relationships with people and walk through hard times with them. We wholeheartedly believe that meaningful, long-term relationships are a key factor in alleviating poverty.
The book When Helping Hurts by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert explains how there are different types of poverty that we must be aware of when serving those in need. It’s important to realize that we ALL have some type of poverty. Until Jesus comes back to restore the Kingdom of God, poverty is running rampant in all walks of life. Corbett and Fikkert show us that God designed man to have different types of relationships and when any of those is out of balance, there is a poverty.
- Relationship with God is the ultimate reason we were created… to worship and enjoy Him, to serve Him and praise Him with all our heart, soul and mind. When that is not as it should be, there is a Poverty of Spiritual Intimacy. We may deny God’s existence or authority, worship false gods or spirits, or focus solely on our material comforts and our own ability to obtain them.
- Relationship with Self is finding our worth in the fact that we were created in the image of God and He loves us unconditionally. If we think too highly or too lowly of ourselves, we have a Poverty of Being.
- Relationship with Others is living in loving relationships, encouraging one another, really knowing one another and feeling like you belong. When someone is self-reliant, self-centered or is simply a loner, they have a Poverty of Community.
- Relationship with the Rest of Creation is stewardship of the world that God has created – managing the resources He gave us in order to sustain ourselves as a whole and appreciating those resources as provision from Him. The Poverty of Stewardship is having no sense of purpose, materialism, and appears as either laziness or workaholism.
We believe it is crucial to ask God to show us the type of poverty at work and how He wants us to act in each situation we encounter. If we are giving food and clothes to someone that has a poverty of community, but not spending time with them, we are hurting them more. If we are spending time with someone that doesn’t believe in God, but aren’t talking about the ways Jesus has changed us, we are hurting them more.
God is extremely creative in the ways He gives us to love others. He reveals to us what a person needs and teaches us to love someone right where they are. There is no script, no pattern, no set way to love your neighbor. This ministry really isn’t about giving a hungry person some food. It’s about being the church to a hurting world, being a friend and learning how to love each person like God wants us to love.
If you would like to get involved in the food ministry, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Here are some ways you can help:
- Deliver food boxes once a month or serve as a substitute delivery volunteer less than that.
- Help prepare food boxes the week before delivery at our office.
- Help add fresh produce, meat and bread to boxes on the third Saturday of the month.
- Donate to help cover the cost of the food ($30 per box).