Care Ministry in the Modern-Day Church

Everyone has emotional, physical, and relational needs, but finding the resources to fulfill those needs can be challenging. The Bible calls believers to care for those in need inside and outside the church so they can experience Jesus’ love. The primary example of this is the care ministry in the early church that allowed the gospel to spread in Jerusalem.  

Galatians 6:10 teaches, “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.” We care for our community because of the example of Jesus, who displayed the greatest example of compassion to the least of these. 

Jesus’ Care Ministry 

Jesus was the most compassionate man who has ever and will ever walk the earth. He was the perfect image of caring for and loving others in need. Several times in the Bible, we see that Jesus was moved with compassion at seeing the needs of the people. In each example, compassion always led him to action. 

  • “And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick.”—Matthew 14:14 

In Matthew 14:14, Jesus had just experienced a great loss through the death of John the Baptist. However, when He saw the people gathered to hear Him teach, His compassion moved Him to heal their sick friends and family. Even in His time of loss, Jesus continued to be the perfect image of what it looks like to care for people.  

  • “I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat.”—Mark 8:2 

In all of Jesus’ travels, He was in tune with the needs of the people He encountered daily. The crowd mentioned in this passage had traveled with Him for three days without food. Although they were filled spiritually with His words, their physical hunger was not satisfied. Jesus showed His power by turning seven loaves of bread into a feast for a multitude.       

  • “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”—John 13:34 

Jesus did not just care for people’s earthly needs. He also cared for people's souls. His purpose in caring for others was to reflect His Father, bring Him glory, and turn hearts to Him. Jesus not only cared for people for their benefit alone but so they would love others the way they have been loved. 

  • “When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, ‘Woman, behold your son!’ Then He said to the disciple, ‘Behold your mother!’ And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.” —John 19:26-27  

Even in Jesus’ darkest moment during his crucifixion, He made sure his mother was cared for by the disciples. Shortly after He arranged for His mother’s care, He gave up His spirit to God. His care for His mother demonstrated His tenderness for those who have lost loved ones and need others to fill their caretaker roles. 

Jesus set the ultimate example of what a care ministry should look like because He perfectly cared for everyone around Him. Although we cannot love and care for everyone the perfect way Jesus did, we can follow the example He set and the model of the early church’s care ministry.   

Care Ministry and the Early Church  

The apostles witnessed Jesus’ life and prioritized caring for the other believers and the community when they founded the early church. They shared resources, offered support, and operated as a unified body. Acts 2:44-45 says, “Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.”  

In Acts 6, the disciples identified an issue with the care of widows in the church. When they realized the widows were being overlooked in the daily food distribution, they appointed seven leaders to oversee this responsibility. They prayed, laid hands on these men, and commissioned them to lead the church’s widow ministry. Because of their intentionality in caring for the poor and needy, the gospel spread in Jerusalem. 

The early church’s example reminds us that care ministry addresses physical, emotional, spiritual, and relational needs. 

  • Physical 

The disciples met the widows’ immediate need for food.  

  • Emotional 

The care ministry overseers relieved the widows of the stress and anxiety of wondering where their next meal would come from.  

  • Spiritual 

The gospel spread, and more people became obedient to the faith after seeing the disciples care for these widows. 

  • Relational 

When the Hellenistic Jews raised the complaint that their widows were being ignored, the Hebraic Jews found a solution to the conflict and repaired the division between them.  

The believers in the early church knew that loving and caring for those in need would bring Jesus glory and turn hearts to Him. Their care for others reflected Jesus's care for his people.  

A mother holding her child’s hand while walking in the street.

Care Ministry in the Modern-Day Church 

Philippians 2:1-4 calls believers to be like-minded, selfless, and humble as they care for others. A care ministry is effective when it is run by people who have been changed by Jesus and serve from the overflow of God’s love for them.  

Matthew 5:16 says, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” When we care for those in need, we shine a light of hope and love into their lives. 

You have an opportunity in your community to be living proof of a loving God to a watching world and follow Jesus’ example. Caring for people in some of their bleakest moments means watching firsthand how the Lord heals and restores brokenness.  

During an ice storm this winter, we were able to financially assist a single mom of two by getting her electricity back on and putting her in touch with the food pantry to provide meals for her and her children. In the Abundant Life Care Ministry, stories like this happen every day. Through the generosity of our church, we can give away what God has given us. The impact of physically, emotionally, spiritually, and relationally assisting those in need is powerful and far-reaching.   

What Is the Purpose of Abundant Life’s Care Ministry? 

Jesus was moved with great compassion for the least of these, and His compassion stirred Him into action. Care ministry allows believers to be the hands and feet of Jesus and enjoy the reward of seeing needs met, lives restored, and souls saved. Jesus set the example, and the early church created the model. Now, we have the mission of caring for those in our church and community.  

The Abundant Life care team provides resources to assist church members and the community in their time of need. We pray that the Lord would use this ministry to display the love and care of Jesus to those in need. Visit our care ministry page to find a list of resources available through the Abundant Life Care Ministry.