At Kansas City First Church of the Nazarene, compassion is directly linked to our discipleship. To be followers of Jesus, the Nazarene, means we are to live out the lifestyle He invited his followers to embrace.
Jesus said that a ministry to those in need was a ministry to himself: “I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me” (Matthew 25:35-36).
Our ministries of compassion are an outgrowth of our desire to authentically represent the Kingdom of God in our practices. As we worship, as we live in community, and as we disciple others, we extend the hand of Christ to those in need.
Compassion is exercised individually as each of us genuinely cares for those in need with whom we worship and serve. We serve one another in love (Ephesians 4:1-17). Compassion becomes an extension of the hands of Jesus as we, the body of Christ, live, love, and care for the needs of others as Jesus did.
Compassion flows from our heritage. Touching our world, both near at hand and globally, has been a feature of the life of this congregation from the beginning. Ministries of hospitality have led us to engage Cambodian refugees, providing means by which those who had nothing could become functioning members of the church and community. Our people have demonstrated that adoption is a way to embrace the orphaned and fatherless who are so cherished by God. The Kansas City Rescue Mission has been a focus of both individual engagement and congregational support for over 50 years. Families in need receive crisis assistance following fires and storms. Many who have experienced significant loss are ministered to in their grief. Those who live without hope have the good news shared with them through word and action.
Compassion is an expression of a holy people. As a result of the loving compassion of God’s people, new believers are brought into the Kingdom of God, communities are impacted for the good, and lives are changed.
Compassion, as a way of life, is the natural expression of this congregation, of our Sunday school classes, and of all the organized endeavors of the church. But compassion as a way of life is also demonstrated in the personal and family expressions that flow out of hearts transformed by the Gospel, shaped by the Word, and led by the Spirit.
Compassion: It is a vital part of who we are in this community of faith–Kansas City First Church of the Nazarene.
*article originally released on October 26, 2014*