What Is Holistic Ministry?
Holistic ministry addresses the full range of human needs, from material deprivation to spiritual alienation. All people are both spiritual and material beings. To minister effectively, churches must work through both evangelism and social action—addressing the needs of both body and spirit.
How can I get my church involved in holistic ministry?
We offer a number of multimedia resources that can aid a group along their Holistic Ministry journey including:
- Books and articles on holistic ministry principles and practices
- Holistic Ministry section in ePistle, our free weekly e-newsletter
- Holistic Ministry Resource Kit (coming soon!)
- Workshops and seminars to train and equip leaders and their congregations to implement holistic ministry in their churches and ministries
- Speakers for colleges, seminaries, churches, and conferences
For more information about these resources, contact us at ESA@eastern.edu.
Shouldn't we be focused on Evangelism?
Jesus' ministry was both proclaiming and demonstrating the Good News of the kingdom, and ESA believes that followers of Jesus should therefore do the same. As long as poverty, injustice, and oppression exist, God's people must continue to address material and spiritual issues in their ministries.
Should Christians vote?
Yes. ESA believes that Christians must engage wisely and justly in the political system (vote, hold office, keep the public informed, etc.); protest when appropriate; and see Proverbs 31:8; and pray (see 1 Timothy 2:1-2).
Aren't politics a dirty business?
Politics are not always bad or always good, but even when they are bad, followers of Christ must engage and dismantle oppression, greed, and evil wherever it is found. To do so effectively, we prayerfully and humbly engage the critical issues of politics and listen honestly to evidence supporting contrary positions. One of ESA's goals is to equip Jesus' modern disciples to engage in thorough analysis and dialog that works toward Biblically grounded political values and results in Christ-shaped public policies.
Should Christians be Republican, Democrat, Socialist, Green, Libertarian, or what?
As ESA Founder Ron Sider advocates in his books, Christians must resolve to let the Bible, not the Republican or Democratic (or any other) Party determine our political agenda. It is vital for Christians to thoroughly examine all of the issues, not just one or two "hot topics" and to vote and act in light of the Word of God.
What is ESA's stance on abortion?
ESA believes that the most important contribution that Christians can make, both to protecting those in the womb and healing our national abortion divide, is to strive for the affirmation that life matters (see Psalm 139:15). This belief calls for the church to respond in a loving, embracing, and healing way to women with unplanned pregnancies.
Shouldn't all Christians be pro-Israel?
At ESA, we desire to see Israelis and Palestinians live together in peace, and we hope that the resources you find here will give you the tools to join with us as we pray and work toward this end.
Aren't illegal immigrants criminals?
God calls us to be a faithful church who welcomes all people at all times, including undocumented immigrants. We support just immigration reform by following the example and teachings of Jesus, while learning from Christian immigrants to the United States. We seek to help our government enact wise and welcoming practices regarding immigrants from around the world, so that our children and grandchildren can experience a future in which immigrants are welcomed and given broader pathways to citizenship.
Is it a sin to be rich?
No, it is not a sin to be rich. God loves all of us – rich and poor alike. The Bible does not condemn the rich for creating wealth, but does harshly judge those who gain by oppressing the poor and neglecting those in need. Working hard and creating wealth is good, but we must live generously and share God's special concern for the well being of the poor.