There is an interesting part of 1 Thessalonians that talks about those who want to eat, that they are to work. It is a great idea! We cannot depend upon others to feed us our entire lives, especially when we are quite capable of working.
So, as people call and ask for help on a termination notice on their utility bill, I have discovered two things that are beneficial in assisting them.
First, if the timing is right, that is there is time before the termination notice is due, then ask the individual to come to worship services on the next Sunday! The work of praising God is authentic work. Plus, it gets the individual or family in church to hear the gospel and to be greeted by Christians.
Second, if there is not time before the termination notice is due, then asking the individual to do light chores in and around the church is worthwhile. If that individual is willing to do such work, then many things can come from this work. The church could be a reference for a job that the individual is seeking, if the person is willing to do the work. The church does not have to pay for or beg church members to do the light chores. The individual retains his/her dignity in knowing that they did not receive a handout, but did help the church as the church helped them.
Obviously, ladder work and use of power equipment may limit the amount of chores that could be done around the church. But there could be enough chores to keep many individuals busy.
I appreciate http://www.ministrymatters.com article that provided the idea behind this work. It is good to serve the Lord Jesus Christ. It is good to help people. It is also good to work.