The Benevolence Ministry is intended as a source of last resort, to be used when a family or individual requesting assistance has explored all other possibilities of help from family, friends, savings, public agencies or investments. It is intended to be a temporary help during a time of crisis.
Assistance from the benevolence fund is intended to be a one-time gift. In unusual circumstances, the Benevolence Ministry may decide to help more than once. But under no circumstance is a gift from the benevolence fund to be considered a loan. No gift may be repaid, either in part or in full, in money, or in labor.
If the recipient desires to give to the church at a later time, this individual should be encouraged to give directly to the general fund of the church. At the discretion of the Deacon Ministry Chairman, the individual may be informed that the fund accepts designated giving, but only if the person understands this is not a payback of what originally was given.
Those requesting assistance must also be willing to receive financial, family, or spiritual counseling. The Benevolence Committee will not provide help to anyone who, in its estimation, will have negative or irresponsible behavior reinforced by receiving financial assistance.
Those requesting help must be willing to give the committee permission to follow up on any of the information provided to the committee.