Jump directly to the Content

The New Needy

Valleytown Baptist Church in Andrews, North Carolina, can handle an occasional request for financial assistance. They're used to supplying food coupons, clothing for children, or medicine to the needy. This assistance is funded by the church's monthly special offering. But pastor Ron McClure believes tougher times are ahead, as he gazes from the church's front porch across the street toward another company suffering massive layoffs.

What is a pastor to do in a town where over one-third of the workforce has lost jobs due to the declining economy?

Until recently, compassion ministries usually reached out to homeless individuals who required only a hot meal and some bus tokens. Now benevolence has taken on a new look. Today's needy are clean-shaven and often educated, but still in need of help.

Mass layoffs have increased in the past 18 months. The total layoff events for 2001, at 21,345, and the total number of initial claimants, at 2,496,784, were about 25 percent higher than the previous ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

November
Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Related
Suspenseful Pastor Search
Suspenseful Pastor Search
From the Magazine
Actually, God Is Doing an Old Thing
Actually, God Is Doing an Old Thing
In an age of authenticity, we don’t need new words from God so much as we need to repeat what he’s already said.
Editor's Pick
Ten Percent Won’t Work for Everyone
Ten Percent Won’t Work for Everyone
The New Testament suggests that different Christians should give different portions of their income to the Lord.
close