American Churches "Mercy Ministry"
For most societies in the past (that have a Christian component) they are extensively and intimately involved with the people around them.
Churches were safe havens no matter where you went or what denomination you encountered, a church would welcome you.
If we look back to the 1800's we see there was spirit of voluntarism within society at large and from local churches. That level of altruism has largely disappeared.
Historically, the Church was always at the forefront of giving freely to the poor, caring for widows, destitute orphans, visiting the sick/caring for the dying. Despite this long legacy of support for the poor and the needy, the evangelical Church stopped or reduced those ministries in the years that followed 1925.
The Governments Job?
Western countries, like the United States have long maintained government-subsidized welfare programs to care for their most fragile citizens. What had once been understood to be the responsibility of churches/charities was by the early/mid-20th century, was increasingly seen as the responsibility of the national body politic, implemented through local and national taxation.
The Church is All of Us!
We see in Genesis 1:28 how work relates to our life. God tasked Human beings to “fill the earth” and exercise dominion over all the created order. We are stewards over what God has provided for which we all must give an account to God on the final day of judgement. In general the concept of better pay/better job is strongly linked to our concept of work, our view of the family, and our view and faith in the living God.
The missing link today is that many of us in the church, has given over our "mercy ministry" to the government beuracracies we so like to disparage.
What has also been destroyed is our Biblical view of a nation and family. American individualism has replaced it. The biblical principles we must reclaim begins with
Stewardship along with the value of the family and the people of God in the Church and
the concept of work, which needs to play a major role in addressing our nations poverty.
The concept of private property is also central to working hard and ownership.
We must give our money in a generous and liberal way (according to our means) which should characterize the people of God;
Saving and providing for our children and ourselves in the future through wise and prudent decisions orients us to the future new heaven/new earth.
"31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:31