This past week while in my office I answered 5-6 phone calls form random people wanting to know if our church helped with groceries, paid electric bills, or just gave money to people in need. Four of theses calls began with a long stories about all their problems and why they needed money from Lee Creek. I told them that we didn’t have the finances to give money out to everyone who called asking for help. Then I suggested that they check with the local government agencies that have funds to help folks in their situation. The response was the same every single time “We’ve already called them and they can’t help us anymore so we are calling around to different churches.”
That is the problem I want to talk about: “They can’t help us anymore.” Webster says the noun “help” means: the action of helping someone to do something; assistance. The problem is too many people are relying on short term help to overcome a long term problem. Quite simply, there’s more going out than coming in. When their “assistance” drys up they have no plan to overcome it. The easiest solution is to call on someone else to replace the assistance they lost. That’s where the church comes in. The government will no longer pay my bills, so lets see if the churches will. The local food bank cut back on our free groceries so let find a church to get free groceries. The electric company will no longer wait to be paid so lets ask a church for the money to pay this bill. Now let us assume the church pays the bill, gives the groceries, and hands out money to those that ask, where do they get the money for next month’s groceries and bills? None of these people lost jobs, they only lost assistance. Without someone else’s help they can’t make it.
How long can the church pay someone else’s bills? How long can the church buy groceries for others? I’ll answer these questions, until the church runs out of money. That is exactly what is happening, churches are running out of money. Two of these people told me that the churches that used to help them don’t have the funds anymore. They already receive all the government help they can get and now they don’t know where else to look.
I know where to look, its in the classifieds under the heading, Help Wanted. This is not the hand out section, its the hands on section. Instead of looking for a new church to help pay your bills, find a job and pay your own. I did try to tactfully suggest they look for employment. The ones who didn’t hang up on me gave a hundred reasons why they couldn’t work. Gov Scott Walker of WI summed up my feelings this week when he said “Public assistance should be a trampoline, not a hammock.” If you have no plans to work for more, learn to live on what you have.