In a discussion of a passage from 1 Timothy 5, I came to loggerheads with another lister to a message board over how an outreach ministry of the church should be conducted.

Essentially, my correspondent asserted that Matthew 25 is the sole guiding principle of such ministry. Since Jesus gave no restrictions on which hungry people to feed, which naked people to clothe, which sick to minister to, or which prisoners to visit, the church should minister to anyone and everyone, without qualification.

His comments made me wonder about my church's food pantry (an auxiliary I volunteer my time to help). In the rare instances where it has come to our attention that recipients resold what they received from the pantry rather than consumed it themselves, we have warned the recipients that such behavior could remove their names from the list. The food pantry--partially for the sake of our philanthropy partners--is heavily regulated. Participants must meet an income-based means test, they must register yearly with accurate address information, they have rules to which they must comply (like the one that forbids reselling what they receive).

What do you think? Is it inconsistent to place restrictions on the access to a food pantry (or to otherwise regulate our giving)?

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I guess you would have to be wise and good stewarts in being ministers of the Lord.
It makes it hard to help people sometime .

But then another thing is if you become too skittish you might block helping people that you wish to reach.

Pray and fast for God's wisdom.
For a food pantry maybe,through my dealing with Helps Ministry,one thing you find is that the line of recipeints,there will always be those looking for the advantage of (sloth).Sometimes the mere presence of the spirit of giving,infuses hope.Being accountable to those who are backing the cause is also important,but we know on all levels there will be the opportunist.We have an upcoming back to school give away,and as sad as it sounds,we are broke down into groups,that raises the supplies needed,then we combine them all,my job this year is for (overflow),which really means,we're exspecting to hand out 500,bookbags filled,my job is to provide at least 100 extras in preparation for those who did not register,and those receiving but don't really need.It's one of the cost,just like Jesus with the fish and bread,it was extras.Food is a more,tracable commodity and may need tighter regulation,but even those receiving the food may sell some of it,to achieve some other things we can't provide,it's a shame but a need.Never stop the giving,factor in loss,but remember it's the seed thats being planted,thats the most important.God will work it out!
In this type of ministry "Never stop the giving,factor in loss,but remember it's the seed thats being planted,thats the most important.God will work it out!" that said it all


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