HIV and the Church

“To radically change our world we are going to need to go back to the biblical view of the church.” –Elizabeth Styffe


When considering how to tackle a problem on the scale of the AIDS pandemic, most people look to professionals and government. But there's another option that has unlimited, untapped potential... the local church! Here are just a few reasons why:

1. The Church Has the Largest Participation

With over 2.1 billion members, the church has the largest volunteer labor force on the planet. While there will never be an adequate supply of doctors, nurses, lawyers, educators and social workers, there is an enormous, untapped pool of talent, brains, energy, and relationships sitting unused in churches every week that could be mobilized for the kingdom of God.

2. The Church Also Brings the Widest Distribution

In every village around the world, there may not be a post office, or a hospital, or a school, but there is a church. And in many places the church is the only social structure. The church is the only truly global organization. If you have an idea, a product, or medication that needs to get to local people, the most efficient way is through the church because the local church already has an existing, largely underutilized distribution channel.

3. The Church Has the Simplest Administration

Local churches are grassroots networks, and everybody knows that networks always move faster than centralized bureaucracies.

4. The Church Has the Fastest Proliferation

To beat a rapidly expanding pandemic, you need a distribution network that is growing faster than the problem itself. While the pandemic grows at a rate of about 5,753 new infections every day, the church multiplies by 174,000 new converts every day.

5. The Church Has the Longest Continuation

The church has existed for more than 2,000 years. Empires, governments and corporations come and go, but the church will last into eternity.

6. The Church Has the Strongest Authorization

Jesus Christ himself created the church and gave us his authority to do good in the world. He authorized his followers to go into the world in the Great Commission. He said, “All authority is given to me in heaven and earth…therefore you go.”

7. The Church Has the Highest Motivation

The church has the highest motivation for service: it is our Savior Jesus Christ. He has commanded us to love our neighbor as ourselves. You’ll find in other organizations, other entities, that there may be different motivations. There could be a political motivation; there could be an altruistic motivation to serve or to care. But after a while, that motivation tends to wear down, tends to give out because the work is hard. It’s wearying. But those who are followers of Jesus Christ have a motivation that will not quit. It is love for our Savior. Because of this, the church has a contribution to make on the global scale of global issues: HIV and orphans, poverty, disease, economic reform, sexual trafficking. The church has a contribution because of what it brings. It is unique and we are players and we bring something effective, something useful, something that can bring lasting change to the global issues that dominate our world.


Perhaps the most compelling of these reasons is:

The church has the ability and the exhortation to bring hope to the world.  We are called to do so and we are empowered by God’s truth.  Why the church?  It is not because we have the greatest volunteer force or because we can simply distribute any kind of knowledge, but because we are called to bring God’s truth to all domains, both developed and developing countries.  This is not the call only for the influential, but for everyone- ordinary people, in the local church, making a difference in a suffering world that desperately craves truth.  As the church, we are to take up our cross, put to death our own desires, and follow the command that Jesus gives us: to go.


Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” –Matthew 16:24


If you would like to start an HIV ministry in your local church, email or call 949-609-8555.  To learn more about our model, click here.

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