After years of searching, I’ve discovered a church here in America that actually has a list of widows that it supports financially. In a lenghty passage in 1 Timothy 5, the Apostle Paul discusses the widow’s support list and what the rules are for a widow in the church to be included on the list. Here’s the passage:
3 Give proper recognition to those widows who are really in need.4 But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents,for this is pleasing to God.5 The widow who is really in needand left all alone puts her hope in Godand continues night and day to prayand to ask God for help.6 But the widow who lives for pleasure is dead even while she lives.7 Give the people these instructions,so that no one may be open to blame.8 Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has deniedthe faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
9 No widow may be put on the list of widows unless she is over sixty, has been faithful to her husband,10 and is well known for her good deeds,such as bringing up children, showing hospitality,washing the feetof the Lords people, helping those in troubleand devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds.
11 As for younger widows, do not put them on such a list. For when their sensual desires overcome their dedication to Christ, they want to marry.12 Thus they bring judgment on themselves, because they have broken their first pledge.13 Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also busybodieswho talk nonsense,saying things they ought not to.14 So I counsel younger widows to marry,to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander.15 Some have in fact already turned away to follow Satan.
16 If any woman who is a believer has widows in her care, she should continue to help them and not let the church be burdened with them, so that the church can help those widows who are really in need. (1 Timothy 5:3-16)
As you can see, the requirements for a widow being included on the church support list are extensive.
1. No adult children or grandchildren who can and should be supporting her
2. Over sixty years old
3. Faithful to her husband
4. Known for good deeds
5. Not cared for by someone else in the church
6. The problem is, I haven’t known of any church that actually has a support list of widows like this. (New Commandment Men’s Ministries doesn’t use this list to qualify widows, widowers and single parents for men’s team ministry because we’re not permanently supporting them financialy.)
The problem is, I haven’t known of any church that actually has a support list of widows like this. (New Commandment Men’s Ministries doesn’t use this list to qualify widows, widowers and single parents for men’s team ministry because we’re not permanently supporting them financialy.)
That is until now. The other day I came across the following comment online by Pastor Raynor Wharton at ConnexionPoint Church in Baltimore, Maryland: “We provide a small monthly pension to our widows over 60; as the scriptures suggest. Although its small, they seem to really depend upon it. One unexpected benefit is that our seniors (widows and non widows) are not only quick to embrace change in the ministry but are often the first partakers of new initiatives.”
Wow! An actual church actually doing what 1 Timothy 5 teaches. Imagine that.
So pastor, if one church can do it, why can’t yours?