Benevolence

Benevolence is an act
of kindness; good done;
charity given. Generally
intended to be financial
assistance and distinct from
evangelism or ministry efforts
such as food banks, free lunches,
helping hands.

Benevolence is also distinct from
tithes and offerings made to the church by the individual.

I. Bible Texts On Benevolence:
Formal benevolence within a local congregation: Acts 2:44,45; 4:32-5:11; 6:1-6; 1 Timothy 5:3-16
One church helps another needy church(s)
Acts 11:27-30; Romans 15:25-28;1 Corinthians 16:1-4; 2 Corinthians 8:4; 9:1,12;
Individuals are to show benevolence:
1 Timothy 5:4,8,16; Matthew 15:4-6; 25:31-46; Esther 2:7; Luke 10:25-37; Ephesians 4:28; Acts 9:36-39; 20:34,35; James 1:27; 2:15,16; Galatians 6:1-10; 1 John 3:17; John 19:26,27

II. The Pattern of Collective Benevolence
A. Rich church to poor church.
B. One church directly to another without intermediary organization like "missionary society" or "sponsoring church".
C. For the saints, not for non-Christians, without exception.
III. Treasury money forbidden to Non-Christians:
It is a violation of the Bible pattern to give money from the church treasury to non-Christians. This is not the case for individuals, who are actually encouraged to assist everyone who is their neighbor.
  • Methods of Benevolence by AGCC
  • Food Pantry is offered without qualification,
  • Helping Hands is offered except when it will take away from a business,
  • Rides and employment networking will be offered,
  • Financial assistance ($50 and above) is offered pursuant to Biblical Guidelines, Crown Financial Ministries Manual, and satisfactory questionnaire. Money is to be given as charity and not a loan.

Benevolence Questionnaire
1. Do you attend a church locally? If so, did your church offer you assistance?
2. Where is your church and what is your minister’s name?
3. Have you sought assistance from any other churches in this area?
4. Do you have relatives who can assist you with your needs?
5. How were you referred to us?
6. What is your immediate need? (Please be specific.)
7. Are you receiving any aid from the government (unemployment, Social Security, food stamps, worker’s comp)?
8. Have you worked a job or looked for work locally? When and where?
9. Are there any obstacles that hinder you from taking a job (child care, disability)?
10. Are you willing to work today if we know of an available job?
11. If we are unable to help you, what other options do you have?
12. If we are able to help you, how many people are involved? (Please list family members.)
13. Do you have some form of identification?
14. If you live in the area and your need is ongoing, are you willing to engage in financial and spiritual counseling?
15. Are you willing to do community service or volunteer work?
Note: The local church should be aware of the validity of requests from its members and attendees through established relationships and small group accountability. However, questions 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 14 should be examined, if information is not known.

(Original questionnaire by Dave Pollack, Resource Ministries. Updated and revised June 1996.)