I think the church’s urge to help after international emergencies or in the face of global absolute poverty needs to be tempered by humility. The frequent – and perhaps understandable – desire to do something when confronted by televised disasters often results in poorly prepared church teams sent to get busy or the creation of yet another NGO dedicated to solving a problem.
Maybe the best way for people of faith and their structures (i.e. churches/denominations) to make a difference in visible instances of human misery is to be satisfied to be a donor to agencies already involved in the affected area. While giving rather than doing doesn’t offer the same profile or PR-cachet, it is most often the best way to ensure effective action.
Such determinations demand humility because the decision comes down to a key question: do we want good work done or do we want the credit?
A comment originally posted on the Q-blog.