Philosophy of Benevolence
I. Benevolence Offering
The purpose of the offering is to establish a foundation for our benevolence giving for the coming year. Although we do have a small amount of money budgeted for benevolence – there are always needs which arise that surpass this amount. In the past we have sought to meet needs through surplus (unbudgeted) funds and have often been able to do so. However, we feel that this removes the congregation from more active involvement in meeting the needs of one another. Therefore we have established this once a year offering which will enable the congregation to participate more directly and intentionally in ministering to the saints. The giving to this offering is, ideally, to be over and above your normal monthly giving.
2 Corinthians 8:1-4 Now, brethren, we wish to make known to you the grace of God which has been given in the churches of Macedonia, that in a great ordeal of affliction their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of their liberality. For I testify that according to their ability, and beyond their ability, they gave of their own accord, begging us with much urging for the favor of participation in the support of the saints.
II. Benevolence Process
We have established a priority in which needs are met according to the following pattern
A. A Church Member in Need.
If anyone is aware of a member of Grace who has a financial/physical need, it is important to go to that person and try to determine
the extent of the need. Once this has been done, they are encouraged to contact Tom Webb and provide him with the details of the
need. Tom will then seek to ascertain whether it is appropriate to simply provide financial/physical help or if some measure of
counsel and/or accountability is also necessary.
B. Someone in Need Who is a Friend or Acquaintance of a Church Member.
In this case the person in need does not attend Grace, but the need is known by someone at Grace who can testify to the reality of the need and the suitability of the person to receive assistance. The process is again to contact Tom Webb with as many details as possible so that he can make a determination as to how best meet the need.
C. Someone Not Known to Anyone at Grace.
In very rare and unusual circumstances we may provide food or gas to someone unknown to us who has demonstrated true need. In the vast majority of these instances we direct these needs to local helping agencies such as The Chilhowee Baptist Center, The Salvation Army, or KARM. Our general policy is that no financial/physical assistance will be given to those who have not attended services at Grace for a significant amount of time.