When and how to run a mercy mission

Last Sunday I mentioned that we are exploring running a fruit and veg co-op, to help those struggling with the rising cost of living expenses.

Such an activity might be called a mercy mission. That is – we demonstrate Jesus’ love and mercy and pray that some people will respond by joining our church community and trusting in Jesus.

Outcomes like this are possible. But in my opinion conversion through such a mission is less likely than it was in the past. Why?

In the past (in Christendom) everyone in Australia believed in a God who was both loving and just. This God calls us love others. He also sees everything we do. At the end of this life, God holds us all to account, and where we will spend eternity depends on how we received and passed on Jesus’ love.

In Christendom, a mercy mission reminds people that Jesus loves, he extends care through his people – the church, and he invites all to love as we have been loved. People are prompted to hear this message, because they have a shared cultural belief in a God who loves, judges, and forgives.

But we do not live in that world anymore. There is no shared consensus about if god exists, what he/she is like, if there is an afterlife, and what one does to enter heaven and avoid hell. So why would we run a mercy mission?

First, to show Jesus’ love in practical ways is a good thing to do, regardless of the outcome. I am asking you to use our co-op differently. Invite people in disruption, be a friend/advocate for Jesus. The co-op is not just a program, or distribution method. It needs to be a connecting community that cares and enfolds in those looking for support.


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