Community Care & Compassion Matching Grants Program

“Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Ephesians 5:1,2).

What is this?

A matching grants program to encourage compassion ministry in the local community of the congregation. Note: These grants are for community compassion ministry, not for assisting members of the congregation.

Up to $2,500 of a congregation’s commitment may be matched. Grants will be limited to a maximum of $200,000 total synodwide.

Who is it for?

All self-supporting WELS congregations in the U.S. and Canada are eligible.

Note: Congregations on mission subsidy or world missions can request assistance for compassion ministry through our Humanitarian Aid grant program.

Why compassion ministry?

  • “Christ’s love compels us” (2 Corinthians 5:14). His compassion and action for us moves us to act in compassion for others.
  • God commands us to help our neighbors, both believers and unbelievers. Paul wrote to the Galatians:As we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers” (6:10). Martin Luther explained the Fifth Commandment with these words: “We should fear and love God that we do not hurt or harm our neighbor in his body but help and befriend him in every bodily need.”
  • Compassion ministry is an important part of preevangelism. Years ago, Christian churches were almost universally respected, and Christians were generally held in high regard. Today, in the postChristian era, many don’t think a church is needed to have a spiritual life. Compassion ministry gives us an opportunity to build trust with skeptical, unchurched neighbors so that we might eventually share the gospel with them. As Jesus said, “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you love one another” (John 13:34,35).
  • Compassion ministry enhances and supports the church’s main mission of proclaiming the gospel to all creation. It puts Christ’s love into action in a way people can see. God can and often does use acts of Christian love and charity to open doors for gospel proclamation.

How to get started

Contact Pastor Dan Sims, director of WELS Christian Aid and Relief, at 4142563204 or [email protected].

Is your congregation ready to reach out to the community by compassionately meeting the needs of your neighbors? Compassion ministry ideas and more information is available in the Community Care and Compassion PDF.