It was a bitterly cold morning at the inner-city church. Among the 130 or so worshipers, the pastor took special notice of Ken, a young boy who arrived for Sunday school wearing just a sleeveless T-shirt, jeans, and tennis shoes with no socks.

After the worship service and a special luncheon, the pastor’s wife took the 6-year-old to the church’s clothing closet to pick out a coat. Then the pastor and his wife drove him and his older brother John home. As they got out, John said, “Thank you for giving my brother a coat.” The two boys became Sunday school regulars, and the pastor had a chance to visit with their mom and explain the gospel.

Are there any children in our world who need help with some basic necessities—a coat, a meal, a ride home? We might be tempted to say the problem is too big—that we can’t help everyone, but that misses the point. Jesus placed great value on the life of a child. He said to His disciples, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God” (Mk. 10:14). He also told them, “Whoever receives one of these little children in My name receives Me” (9:37).

A coat, a cup, a kind word. Given in Jesus’ name, these are the tools of true ministry. Are we using them?