Recently, our family had to change Internet cable services. Our former provider promised to send us a postage-paid box to mail their equipment back to them. We waited. No box came. I phoned. The promised box still did not arrive, but we did get a bill for the equipment!

Wanting to get this resolved, I decided to return it at my own expense. I sent several faxes asking if they received it—but no reply. Then I got a refund check of $.02 for the returned equipment! An experience like that can be frustrating. A simple transaction was complicated by poor communication.

Sadly, some people in our churches may encounter an impersonal response to their needs. Whether seeking marital counseling, childcare, guidance for a troubled teen, or a loving community, they come away feeling uncared for.

The first-century church was not perfect, but it faithfully helped others. The church at Jerusalem “divided [their goods] among all, as anyone had need” (Acts 2:45).

Good communication is the starting point for learning others’ needs. This enables us to provide personal and practical help to people when they need it. Resources, both material and spiritual, can then be directed to each person as the object of God’s personal love.