The Value of Mercy Ministries

Remain Faithful to God and His Word

Jesus modeled for us how to care for the poor and needy. He fed the hungry, stood against injustice, and dignified the outcast. Christians should follow His example of compassion, but sometimes the ministry becomes more important than the truth of the gospel. Christian leaders D.A. Carson, John Piper, and Tim Keller sit down to discuss mercy ministries in the church. They encourage Christians to keep a gospel-centered mindset while caring for the poor and fighting injustice.

Dr. D.A. (Don) Carson is currently Research Professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and co-founder and president of The Gospel Coalition. John Piper is founder and teacher of and Chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. Tim Keller is the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan. 

Some argue, as Don pointed out, that mercy ministries are bound to corrode. Tim responded by pointing out that if the gospel message is at core of a ministry, it will keep away from the social gospel or other deviances. 

Have you ever experienced or witnessed a ministry that deviated from the central truth of the gospel? If so, what happened? Why do you think maintaining a focus on Christ is crucial in compassion ministries?
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John said one way to keep a ministry focused on Christ is to have an orthodox view of hell. Do you agree? Why or why not? What is your view of hell? How has your view shaped the way you view ministry?
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Don said, “We need to be faithful without calculating our faithfulness on the basis of our fruitfulness.” How does his statement strike you? Have you ever fallen into the trap of basing your faithfulness on your success? If so, how did God use that experience to teach you about faithfulness?
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How could you choose faithfulness to God and His Word this week? Do you see any areas in your life that aren’t fully faithful to God? If so, what steps could you take to surrender each part of your life to God and remain faithful to Him?
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Even if you are not involved in a compassion ministry, pursue a faithful relationship with God. If you volunteer or work in a ministry, consider the state of your ministry. Brainstorm ways your team can focus on Christ as your serve others.  

To learn more about the Gospel Coalition, click here