By George Grant
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Extra resources for Bringing in the Sheaves: Transforming Poverty into Productivity
And so the Word of God 68 BRINGING IN THE SHEAVES spread rapidly” (Acts 6:7). The Great Commission The Great Commission of Matthew 28:18-20 is familiar turf for most Christians. Its primary teaching is quite straightfonvard and common] y understood. Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the l%ther and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.
The reason? Welfare is not the government’s job. It never has been. And, it never will be. Welfare is our job. It is the job of Christians. According to the clear instruction of Scripture, there is only one way to win the war on povert y: get the government out of the welfare business. And get the church back in it. 55 56 BRINGING IN THE SHEAVES God’s People and the Poor Notice, I said “get the church back in it. ” For centuries, Christians have been the primary agents of charity and compassion in Western culture.
Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the Word” (Acts 6:2-3). These seven men, or deacons as they would later be called (1 Timothy 3:8-10), thus had as their primary duty the oversight of the poverty ministry of the church. This was the essence of the diaconal function. All throughout church history, the diaconal function has been more or less faithfull y carried out b y men of passion, conviction, and concern: men like William Olney and Joseph Passmore.