Jericho Baptist Church touching lives through its outreach ministry
JERICHO, St Catherine:
Most if not all religious denominations, in addition to catering to the soul of man are emphasising reaching out to communities in humanistic ways, feeding and clothing the needy as well as catering to other social needs.
Reverend Valentine Wallace of the Jericho Baptist Church in Linstead, in expressing his personal opinion said, "feeding and providing clothes and other services for the poor and needy is something Jesus wants the Church to continue doing."
"Our primary function is how we give to the people who are in need, that's how we fulfil our Christian mandate," the Baptist Pastor told Family&Religion.
"So we don't only cater to the spiritual, but the physical, the physical needs, the emotional needs that people have that we can address, it's our responsibility to address them as best as possible," Wallace said.
In explaining how the issue of reaching out to the poor and needy fixes into the church's first role of saving souls, he said, "We just have to follow Jesus' example throughout the New Testament scriptures."
"When He was here, he did all these things for us to follow, I can recall him feeding the 5,000 from what was around him, so the physical being of the man is important, so we cater to the physical state of the person," Wallace said.
According to the Baptist pastor, Jesus' example is what is inspiring him to be a part of an outreach programme that is impacting lives while fulfilling Jesus' example.
"Jesus was about developing the holistic being of the man while he was on earth,"
Wallace said," adding that if the churches today want to remain relevant they have to start following the example of Jesus.
"They must look at the ministry of Jesus and find out from him what it meant to minister to the holistic man. If they can't do this they are missing the mark," the Jericho Baptist Church minister told Family and Religion, "
While espousing this position, Wallace was quick to point out that the spiritual being of the man should not be neglected because that is what God wants.
"In the scheme of things, we were created with a capacity to serve God so this cannot be underscored," the pastor for 14 years said.
He revealed that the church's philosophy is to take care of the poor and needy.
"The economic times are hard and some people might not be able to eat a balance meal, the church has a responsibility to help such a person," Wallace said.
He noted that oftentimes the members of the outreach ministry would prepare the food for the people.
"Our aim is to make sure that the people is significantly impacted by our outreach program, especially those who can't help themselves," Rev Wallace stated.
For Wallace, the fulfilment of God's command can only be carried out when we cater to both the physical and spiritual well-being, a mandate he said is from Jesus.