Where Are Our Christian Values?

Trip#1742 - Chandler Dowdy - Photographer Tanya M. Roloff (17)

Francis of Assisi once said, “Preach the gospel at all times, if necessary use words.”

Over the past several weeks, we’ve introduced you to the new Feed the Children. We’ve told you that our future lies with the children. The young without limits. The spirited who dream big. The hopeful who envision a better world, a world where no child goes to bed hungry.

We’ve told you that to end childhood hunger, we need to empower children, unite forces, and attack the problem from all angles and that it takes all of us in the fight: donors, experts, organizations, communities and leaders.

But we haven’t yet told you more about values. At Feed the Children, these values motivate us:

Challenge convention: we believe that a future without hungry children is possible.

Defend dignity: we believe in treating each child and family in the communities where we work with value and worth.

Champion partnership: we believe collaboration is the only way to end childhood hunger.

Value every donor: we believe in donors playing an active role in ending childhood hunger.

Drive accountability: we believe in making changes when something isn’t working and building on the success when it is.

When some look at this list they may ask, “What happened to the word ‘Christian?’ Wasn’t ‘Christian’ one of your values before? Are you no longer a Christian organization?

To answer these questions, we need to tell you bit more of our story.

In 1979, a group of Christian leaders sensed a calling to care for, protect, and feed children in need around the world. They read the exhortations of Jesus as recorded in Matthew 25 to feed “the hungry” and give water “to the thirsty” and provide “clothes” to those without.

In response, these Christians knew they needed to act. How could they not? Collectively, they began raising support and organizing leaders toward this cause, eventually founding the organization called Feed the Children in their hometown of Oklahoma City.

For over 35 years, Feed the Children has served thousands of communities all over the world and in the United States motivated by this same fact—Jesus teaches all of us to look after the most vulnerable citizens of this world.

feeding in Tanzania

And we’ve done so without discrimination. We’ve fed children with Christian parents. We’ve given water to children in Muslim nations. We’ve helped children learn in the slums of Central America. We’ve given children permission to dream big for their future in America’s inner cities.

We’ve done so because it is the right thing to do. How can you see a hungry kid and turn away? Jesus couldn’t. And many of our employees have joined our team out of their own faith calling. They work tirelessly on behalf of the children not only because they believe in the mission that no child go to bed hungry but because it is what Jesus said to do.

This is our faith story: Feed the Children is a show, not tell, organization.

The great saint of the church, Francis of Assisi once said,  “Preach the gospel at all times, if necessary use words.”

This is why you no longer see the word “Christian” in our values statement. We believe we don’t need it.

In fact, we believe all of our value statements reflect who Jesus was and what he taught:

Didn’t Jesus challenge convention when he overthrew the money tables in the temple courts?

Didn’t Jesus defend dignity when he pushed the unlikely to the front of the line: the women, the children, and the sick?

Didn’t Jesus champion partnership when he chose 12 followers to journey alongside him for his teaching ministry on earth?

Didn’t Jesus value every donor when he taught the 5,000+ gathered on the mount and then fed them a plentiful meal too?

Didn’t Jesus drive accountability when he challenged the popular teachers of the day who were more interested making a dollar than they were caring for souls?

For these reasons and many more, our team is proud of our brand values. To live into a mission that loves, protects and defends kids is a worthy and exciting calling.

We believe the world needs more Christians who put feet to their faith and act on what they believe. Or as James 1:22 tells us, “Do not merely listen to the Word of God, but do what it says.”

This is most what we want you to know: Feed the Children is motivated by Jesus’ teachings every day. But you won’t find us congratulating ourselves from the mountaintops. With every child we feed, with every parent and caregiver of children we empower, with every community we engage with hope, we seek to BE Christ’s hands and feet in the world.

15 thoughts on “Where Are Our Christian Values?

  1. I have also seen that you are providing books and other material. Are these all secular in nature? Are any of the volunteers/workers allowed or encouraged to talk about Jesus to the people they are serving?

  2. Toniko-

    We are not an organization that evangelizes through our work. We do distribute books as part of our education programs and these books are like any books you might find in a library on a broad spectrum of topics.

  3. As a founder of one of the leading reform men’s movements on the planet (one that is saving countless lives), -as one who calls himself a follower of Jesus’s teachings; –I have come to realize how distorted the term “Christian” has become over time. As a student of law, -I also believe (as did the founders) that a church should NEVER incorporate (form under the mastery of the state – as Christians are to have only 1 Master). If FTC chooses to strike the term “Christian” from it’s statements – that is OK by me (as long as Yeshua/Jesus remains the inspiration). “It is God’s glory to conceal a matter; -And the honor of Kings to uncover it.” -Solomon Simply be sure to leave what is most important -to “uncover”.

  4. Maybe by not including Christian in the printed core values as you revamp FTC, you are hoping for more financial support to feed more children by being more politically correct. It will be interesting to see how it plays out. To God be all the glory for anything good that comes from FTC and all of our lives!!

  5. This strikes me as an embarrassing, lukewarm attempt to run away from the very thing that provides you with your core values. Without Jesus, explicitly, in your mission, you have no foundation for your ethical claims.

    • We are incorporated as an NGO, not a religious organization. But we want to model our programs after the teachings of Jesus– thus the reason for this post.

  6. We “Christians” (myself included) have forgotten that it is not just tithing, the church going, the working in the church, but rather the person whose ACTIONS demonstrate to others who Christ is and why we do what we do…. The churches in America have become THE church of Laodicea … We have become complacent with the church workings, we are “lukewarm” to be spit out HIS mouth. Revelations 3:15 – 19

  7. Didn’t Jesus Said, “Let the little Children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” this explains more with what Feed the Children is doing today.

  8. Never mind the judgmental and naysayers Feed The Children. I agree wholeheartedly with your vision and decision. You can show it better that you can say it. You are an honest and trustworthy organization. I have supported you for many many years because you actually do what you claim to do feed and provide for the poor – all poor. That’s it plain and simple. Love is action. What’s in a name, wouldn’t a rose called by any other name smell just as sweet? James 1:27 says “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” Thank you for showing love and true religion with kindness and love to ANYONE who need no matter their walk, orientation, belief, or unbelief. It is EXACTLY what Jesus would do! 🙂

  9. I have been a supporter for many years. I too view the removal of “Christian” as a PC ploy to get more funds from people who do not believe in Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

    Yes, we are to help the widows, the children, the needy, the poor. Absolutely!!! However, as Christians we are also commissioned to go and spread the Gospel among the nations. Even Jesus didn’t just help people and walk away. Everyone clearly knew what he stood for and heard his message.

    I realize that you can’t preach to someone that is hungry and in need. Yes, help them, feed them, then tell them about God’s love for them through your organization. This the opportunity to shine and tell someone about the Lord that they may have nor may not get to hear otherwise.

    I know your primary mission in NOT to evangelize, but seeing that this is what your organization is what was originally founded on, I believe it should not be change.
    I give to missions that are transparent and that spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Like I said, I have been a strong supporter for years, and I felt moved today to look into if you teach the Gospel (even though I already inquired yrs ago and was told yes at that time) to find now you do not. Isn’t that odd that I would be prompted as such? That being said, I’m sorry to say that I will no longer be supporting Feed the Children in the same manner as before. I do believe you do good, and I may possibly still give something. But certainly not as I was before. My first fruits go to the Lord and His work.

  10. I attended a Christian concert on Sunday night and was ready to sponsor a child. I decided to come to the website to choose a country, etc, since I already sponsor a child through Compassion International. One of the reasons I was going to sponsor another through you was the ability to also help children here at home. After reading your approach to teaching God’s word (or lack thereof) I was a little disheartened. It does sound very PC and that’s where so many people of faith are frustrated. I am positive your organization does amazing things and maybe the change will allow you to gain more support and funding, which in turn helps more children. That IS the main goal of this after all. I would just like to support an organization that is also looking out for the spiritual needs of these kids too. It isn’t about preaching religion, but simply sharing the gospel. I’ll have to consider my decision longer now since Compassion is still a faith based operation. Blessings in your endeavors.

    • Deanna, thank you for your message. How wonderful that you would consider sponsoring a second child after making that commitment already once before! As others have stated, and as the blog describes, we do not see our mission as compromising our Christian roots and values, but as a fuller expression of it for a new time and place.

      We would be honored to partner with you as we both seek to fulfill Jesus’ command in Matthew 25 to feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty and clothe the naked–but we also wish you well no matter what you choose in terms of child sponsorship.

  11. I love how Feed the Children has moved beyond doctrine and dogma–from declaring themselves a Christian organization–to embodying and becoming the actual message of Christ.

    Rather than communicating with catch words, they instead communicate with love.

    Matthew 7:21 says: “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.”

    Through their awesome work, Feed the Children is fulfilling the whole of God’s law and thereby become a living testament to its faith.

    See Galatians 5: :14 which says: “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”

    For those who are struggling with the changes Feed the Children has made by setting aside the word “Christian” from their stated values–don’t worry, they aren’t hiding their convictions. Just read the intro to “Our Team.” It says: “Feed the Children is thriving in a new era, marked by Christian values, integrity, resourcefulness, stewardship and transparency.”

    I don’t know for sure, because I am not affiliated with Feed the Children, except as a supporter, but I would guess Feed the Children made the changes, not to become more politically correct, but to lower the language barrier so they can better serve God’s people no matter what their culture or religion.

    I would argue that this is a much more humble and genuine way spread God’s love. Not to mention more effective.

    • Thank you for your message–you’ve expressed it well. We appreciate your support!

  12. I just received the thank you letter after donating to your organization. Upon reading it, I was very surprised that it did not mention the Christian mission anywhere on it. I then looked up your website, and again was shocked to find nothing about spreading the gospel and meeting the spiritual needs of the families when delivering supplies.

    I donated to your organization because you spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ while helping those in need. I had never even heard about your organization before until I watched an entire television show (a month or two ago) explaining your christian ministry that prompted and inspired me to give! You spoke of how it was important to deliver not only physical food, but also spiritual food, so those in need would see Christ THROUGH you. If you take Christ out and people don’t know Him, they only see YOU. There are many nice, compassionate people in the world, it does not make them a “Christian”. It can’t just be a given. I feel by removing “Christian” you are saying it’s OK to take Christ out. I feel in today’s world to take it out and simply say you don’t need it anymore, is like hiding everything you are saying you believe in and the reason you are doing it. If that is truly what you stand for, then why remove it? Even this article about the removal was hard to find.

    All in all, the reason I donated to your organization rather than another charity was because of the message of Christ you delivered when feeding those in need. I now see that you do not do that. I feel ripped off and hurt. I commend you on those you do help, however, in the future I will donate to an organization that is honest in their mission and meets both physical as well as spiritual needs.

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