In His earthly ministry Christ worked out a pattern for His followers to copy. “He went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed” (Acts 10:38). Christ identified with the poor and oppressed. “He fed the hungry and healed the sick... By the good He accomplished, by His loving words and kindly deeds, He interpreted the Gospel to men,” comments Ellen White. “Christ’s work in behalf of man is not finished. It continues today. In like manner His ambassadors are to preach the gospel and to reveal His pitying love for lost and perishing souls. By an unselfish interest in those who need help they are to give a practical demonstration of the truth of the gospel” (Welfare Ministry, pages 56-57).
When a church serves the world it is an expression of the love of Christ to the world. It is the body of Christ serving the world’s needs and being used by the Holy Spirit as an agency of salvation. The major functions and tasks of the local church community services department include the following: (1) discovering the needs of the community by performing a needs assessment; 2) mobilizing a response to specific concerns; (3) organize programs in which non-members participate for the first time in a church-sponsored activity; (4) establish cooperation with other organizations in the community so the church does not duplicate services; (5) keep the church posted about Adventist Community Services activities; (6) keep records of the clients you serve, services you provide, volunteer statistics and financial records.