The New Testament is based mostly around events which took place in the
first century. In the first century, a matter that received priority was
the provision for the practical as well as spiritual needs of the
ecclesial members. Poorer members were supported by those more well off.
The widows and orphans were also cared for. The believers at Antioch
sent relief to the believers in Judea during the great famine during
Claudius Caesar's emperorship.
These first century examples provide a solid basis for care and welfare
arrangements today. Individual members of the ecclesia have an important
role in being aware of the needs of their fellow believers. They can
give financial support but also practical help and encouragement.
However, those who received support in the first century were expected
to make appropriate efforts to provide for themselves. Paul makes this
point clearly when he says "If any will not work, neither let him eat"
(2 Thess. 3:10).
What happens in the ecclesia
The ecclesia has appointed a welfare team to perform a "Pastoral Care"
function. This includes arranging visits to the sick, elderly, etc.,
sending cards and contacting members who may be sick, absent, etc., and
providing general welfare support as possible (e.g. information on
social and external services) and other help as required.