Feeding the hungry and clothing the poor are among the most visible local church ministries in the U.S., according to LifeWay Research.
In response to the question, “Which, if any, of the following areas of service have you heard local Christian churches or their members doing in the last six months?” 60 percent of U.S. adults said feeding the hungry, while 50 percent said clothing the poor.
After these two ministry areas, responses dropped significantly with helping disaster victims ranking third (39 percent) followed by sheltering the homeless (33 percent) and meeting with people in prison (25 percent).
All other categories – including supporting local schools, teaching English to immigrants and volunteering to provide foster care – received less than 25 percent of respondents affirming that they had seen a local church or individual Christian carrying out this ministry.
Fourteen percent of respondents said they had witnessed none of the 13 ministry initiatives listed in the survey, while 17 percent were unsure.
“Jesus warned his followers to keep their good deeds secret, warning them not to seek attention when doing the right thing. American Christians seem to be following that advice,” LifeWay commented.
The full report is available here.