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Book Review: Guide to Benevolence Giving for Church and Family

Contact: Rod O'Neil, 502-817-0181

MEDIA ADVISORY, Feb. 26 /Christian Newswire/ -- Rod O'Neil shares the following story in his book: "One time an individual came to my church with the sole purpose of looking for money, and I was called out of the service to see if we should help him. I asked him several common questions -- 'What is your name?' 'Where do you live?' 'What are you asking for?' 'Do you have any family nearby?' 'May I call them?' 'Do you have any proof of identification and can I make a copy of it?'

The only topic he wanted to discuss was his need for money. He needed to buy medication to relieve his misery. I said the church cannot help him since we were unable to prove his situation valid as he was being elusive. He voiced that since we were a church we needed to help him, and it was our obligation to help the poor.

I tried to explain to him we operated differently than what he probably was use to. I stressed we needed to follow biblical principles to help those truly in need and help them in a very meaningful way.

He then added he was dying, and he had a severe rash of poison ivy to prove it, so he needed money quickly. Since he told me he was dying that made my job very easy. I told him based on that information I now needed to call 911 and have the EMS and police come and give him the help he needs. Well, he was out the door in seconds.

Many people and churches fall victim to such seemingly honest, down-on-their-luck individuals who use clever stories to get money from them. When we give to such scammers we actually encourage bad behavior and allow them to commit a crime worthy of prison. "Guide to Benevolence" shows the difference between being gracious and being gullible, and how to discern whom to help, when to help, how to help, how intensely to help, and whom not to help.

The book also provides useful artifacts to start up or strengthen a church's benevolence ministry. These artifacts include a Benevolence Policy, Committee Charter, Benevolence Log, and a Benevolence Request Form. Rod's book lays out many biblical principles to help identify legitimate needs and to avoid frivolous wants and outright scams, with the intent to turn receivers into givers.