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Should Christians Meet Physical or Spiritual Needs?

The Research

What if we asked you, “Is it more important for global missions to meet physical needs or spiritual needs?” How would you respond?

Research from Barna Group shows that U.S. Christians are pretty evenly split on their answers to this question (take a look at the results below).

As you look over this data, remember that Jesus speaks to the importance of meeting both physical and spiritual needs. In fact, He tells us in John 10:10 that He came “that they may have life, and have it to the full”! When we consider the physical needs of India, in particular, we can only imagine how God’s heart must break for those who are in poverty, suffering from malnutrition, and fighting diseases. He wants these people to know Christ as their Savior and live full lives here on earth!

How We’re Doing Both

This is the heart behind the health training we added to our Church Planters’ work several years ago. Have you heard about it?

Five months into a Church Planter’s training, he or she welcomes one of our ministry partners into the local community where ministry has begun. Together with a local doctor, our partner gathers families and hosts a training on topics around cleanliness and nutrition. They even specify recommended nutrition for children, pregnant women, and the elderly!

After this one-day training concludes, the local Church Planter is able to follow up with the families who attended, encouraging them to form new health habits according to what they learned. What a wonderful opportunity to help them improve their physical health, while opening the door to talk about their spiritual lives and the Great Physician!

Where You Come In

You spur on our ministry partners to carry out important work like this, showing unreached people in India that God can change them from the inside out. What a blessing you are to communities that have never had an opportunity like this before! We hope you know just how important your prayers and gifts are. Thank you!

To learn more about U.S. Christians’ perspectives on missions, download our report released in 2022 in partnership with Barna Group, The Great Disconnect.