Many people understand ‘what’ we do; some may understand ‘how’ we do it. However, the ‘why’ makes all the difference. Today, many companies focus on the bottom line of making money. For The Baptist Home, money should not be an end to itself. On the other hand, money is a tool to help us accomplish our mission. We do need to operate with sound business practices in order to sustain this ministry until Jesus comes. And, we have a fiduciary responsibility to those who have invested in this ministry that we use each resource honorably and optimally to advance our mission.
One of the most difficult parts of my job is whether to make a decision based on good business practice or based on ministry. Many times they are compatible, but other times they are not. Some decisions cost money in the best interest of people and will not yield a financial gain. Thus, The Baptist Home focuses on ministry opportunities to improve the quality of life for those who are aged and prepare them for the Kingdom of Heaven.
Nevertheless, that is what we are called to do. To advance the Kingdom of God is a good investment. Some of my evangelical friends may not think of The Baptist Home as a contributor to the advancement of the Kingdom. For example, some believe that ministry to those who are in need of physical, financial, social, emotional and mental support should take a back seat to preaching and evangelizing. I rather think both ways are important and have the same purpose. Our ultimate goal is to lead people into a relationship with the living God through the saving grace provided by the Lord Jesus Christ. Is ministry not one and the same as preaching and evangelizing?
Our 2nd superintendent, Dr. D.J. Scott would have answered this way as he did in a newsletter article dated April 1945, “If this work is not preaching the Gospel, then I’m in the wrong work, and really we had better close the doors.” He went on to explain, “We are quite sure that at least 95% of those with whom we have conferred feel the sort of work being done here at the Baptist Home is one of the most effective ways of presenting Christianity to the world.” And, he acknowledged that the most effective method of telling the good news used by missionaries for many years was “by ministering to the physical needs of men and thereby finding the way to their hearts….”
Scott believed Jesus to be our greatest example in this effort. “Christ went about ministering to man’s physical needs. He fed the hungry, healed the sick, made the lame to walk, gave sight to the blind; in fact, He spent but very little of His time in actually preaching as we speak of preaching in order to convince the world that He was and is the Christ, the Son of God.” He illustrates that when John the Baptist inquired of whether Jesus was really the messiah, Jesus told his disciples to go back and tell John, “…the things you see and hear, the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, deaf hear, dead are raised and the poor have the Gospel preached to them.” (Matthew 11: 3-5)
Scott concluded, “So after reconsidering the whole matter, we are more thoroughly convinced that the ministry of love that is being carried on here in the Home is an outstanding phase of Kingdom service, and a most effective way of presenting effective Christianity to the world.” As with Dr. Scott, “…we certainly believe in preaching the Gospel, but it takes living and serving to prove to the world that we are true to the messages we speak.”