What is the difference between a Christian organization that feeds the homeless and a worldly organization that does the same? The Gospel.
I would say that the most important thing you can do when we go on mission trips, foreign or domestic, is that we prioritize the Gospel. No matter what we are handing out, whether it be food, clothes, bedding or backpacks, or the sweat of our brow, the Gospel should be included.
When the disciples began to grow in number they started to have problems with some of the widows getting food to eat. Widows were very common in that day, and they were not always able to support themselves. But they were being overlooked and it was up to the disciples to take care of them in some way. The disciples were being stretched thin already so they decided to put someone else in charge of that situation, which by today’s standards was good leadership. So that’s what they did and the issue was resolved.
Now what they did is not as important as why they did it. They did it because “It is not desirable for us to neglect the word of God in order to serve tables.” Acts 6:2 They recognized that anyone could had helped feed the widows, but they were called to the ministry of the word.
I would argue that we all are called to the ministry of the word. However some of us are called to that ministry in different ways because of our different gifts. I love handing out food and things people need, it simply makes me feel good. But what tops that is when I am able to sit down and talk with someone about the Kingdom of God and Jesus. Then praying with that person. Sharing with them your heart and how the Gospel has changed your life.
Here is my take away, we are called to serve people with the Gospel. Using our gifts and abilities and our hearts. The world is more than capable of handing out things that do not last the test of time. But we have something that Does Not Perish.