If the Church Is Called to Serve, Why Do People Suffer?

By Chip Ingram

Have you ever looked around, saw people suffering, and felt overwhelmed?

We’re surrounded by people desperately hurting and in need of help. At the same time, there seems to be a lot of people who are willing to give love and support. Yet people continue to suffer.

Willing hearts and plenty of resources, but the huge need never ends. Why is there a gap between what we know to be the ideal and the disappointing reality?

To see the cause of the shortfall, we first need to remember what it means to be part of Christ’s supernatural community … His church.

For the church IS a supernatural community. Established by Christ Himself, it has a supernatural origin. It has a supernatural mission and is armed with supernatural power.

Of course, by church I do not mean a building or a denomination, but rather the universal family bonded outside time and geography. Followers of Christ are called to be united:

“For just as each of us has one body with many members, … so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others” (Romans 12:4-5).

We have a supernatural mission: to love one another as Christ loved us — sacrificially  and to share His love with the whole world. To be HIS body in the world.

To experience the reality that we are members of one another and to serve and support one another, we must get connected in real relationships. To truly meet the world’s needs, we must share and live out the sacrificial love of Christ in real relationships wherever God calls us.

Without these relationships, gaps form between suffering and support, between need and nurturing, between lack and love.

“From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work” (Ephesians 4:16).

So the question is: are you — as a member of the body, the church, the supernatural community — doing your work?

If you would like to explore this topic more in depth, take a look at Chip’s series: Love One Another, True Spirituality, or Spiritual Simplicity

Written By

Chip Ingram

Founder & Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge

Chip Ingram is the senior pastor of Venture Christian Church in Los Gatos, California, and teaching pastor and president of Living on the Edge, an international teaching and discipleship ministry. A pastor for over thirty years, Chip has a unique ability to communicate truth and challenge people to live out their faith. He is the author of many books, including "The Real God," "Culture Shock" and "The Real Heaven." Chip and his wife, Theresa, have four grown children and eleven grandchildren and live in California.

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