Sharing Biblical Intelligence:
“For those in the world to experience the unconditional love and compassion of God, the gospel of Christ must be exemplified and ministered, holistically, by the church and followers of Christ.”
— Orayne Williams
God’s Unconditional Love Through Holistic Ministry:
For those in the world to experience the unconditional love and compassion of God, the Gospel of Christ must be exemplified and ministered, holistically, by the church.
What is Holistic?
Characterized by the treatment of the whole person, taking into account mental and social factors, rather than just the symptoms of a disease.
What is Ministry?
Is an activity carried out by Christians to express the gospel of Jesus Christ, salvation, and spread their faith with the ultimate goal to win souls for the kingdom of God.
Holistic Ministry is preaching the gospel of Christ, through faith and love, to win souls while attending to or advocating for the person’s mental, emotional and social needs so that they can focus on seeking God and receiving the gospel with understanding. Having a holistic approach in ministry helps us to not focus on the symptoms of sin but to take into consideration the mental and social factors that conceive the sin.
We serve a God who considers all the cares of His children (1 Peter 5:7). Therefore we, as His ambassadors, cannot become so “churchy” or religious that we neglect the natural needs and wants of those we minister salvation to. John 6:5 (NLT): “Jesus soon saw a huge crowd of people coming to look for him. Turning to Philip, he asked, ‘Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?” Notice the scripture did not say Jesus asked Philip “what verse shall we give them first”. He already knew he was going to minister the word to them so he considered their needs. When your purpose is ministering the Gospel, taking time to attend to the needs of others is not a distraction but a route to the soul.
I can imagine Jesus thought of how long the people walked in the hot sun and how hungry they must be. Through empathy and compassion, Jesus viewed them holistically. As a result, He fed them before he ministered to them. One can imagine how relaxed and comforted they felt after eating. I believe Jesus fed them first to secure their posture to receive. I also believe Jesus said to himself, a hungry ear is a deaf ear to the Gospel.
A good biblical example of holistic ministry is the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). The Good Samaritan saw and attended to his neighbor’s needs and wounds. He used his own oil and wine to clean the wounds, then his own donkey to take his neighbor to the inn. The Good Samaritan paid for his neighbor to rest at the inn. Jesus used this parable to identify a neighbor and to explained how we should love our neighbors.
36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
What is ministry without the show of love and care? When doing ministry, we should be able to attend to the wounds of the wounded and the needs of our neighbors. It is hard to win a soul for the Kingdom while neglecting the human being. It is possible to be a Good Samaritan while ministering the gospel to others. In your prayer time, ask God to develop the characteristics necessary for you to minister selflessly and holistically.
Hebrews 13:16: “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”
Proverbs 3:27: “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.”
Romans 12:13: “Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.”
— Orayne Williams