The mission of the Research & Resource Center and Compassionate Missionary Council is to support the vision of U.S. Missions by providing resources to assist local churches, organizations, and individuals in effective practices to impact their communities through compassionate ministry.
Our practical definition of compassionate ministry is any program, outreach, fellowship, or service intended to relieve the suffering of others, by removing physical, emotional, or social barriers to their ability to see themselves as special to God and accept the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.
Why is this needed? In response to the words of Jesus found in the Gospels, The General Council of the Assemblies of God includes "Show Compassion" as the fourth "reason for being" in its mission statement. U.S. Missions consists of missionaries, chaplains, and project volunteers, along with leadership and staff, who believe the church must not sit idly by as families, neighborhoods, and communities struggle to address poverty, broken families, addictions, incarceration, and other social ills; rather, the church should be a leader in community partnerships to help the hurting. For an excellent overview of why the local church is key to God's strategy for reaching the lost and empowering the broken in every community, see "The Unique Role of the Local Church in Developing a Flourishing Community," from the Disciple Nations Alliance.
The part religion plays in the cultural environment of the United States seems to be waning, but the innate sense that helping the less fortunate is the right thing to do is still strong, making compassionate ministry an effective way for the church to be heard in the community conversation while following the clear commands of Christ. (See this PE News feature article for historical perspective on compassionate ministry as an integral part of preaching the gospel.)
Several U.S. Missionaries and Compassionate Missionary Council members are available as speakers, to inform and train those who wish to become involved. They are listed under each ministry topic, along with other training resources. To get started partnering and making an impact for Christ, you can visit our "get involved" section, contact us at email@example.com, contact the ministries and speakers listed under topics that interest you, or visit the U.S. Missions website. An excellent primer on involving your church in compassionate ministry, "Mobilizing for Compassion: Moving People into Ministry," by Grant Standefer, can be found in the Winter, 2012 Enrichment Journal.
We need partners to join in prayer as we go forward in Compassion Ministries. The Scripture reads, "The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much," James 5:16 (NASB). We will look UP (Unify and Pray) and allow God to work as He leads.
Submit a prayer request for yourself or for a ministry event