"As fiscal pressures mean the public sector must contract, organized religious groups are stepping into the void." So argues Lewis M. Andrews in "Religious Alternatives to the Public Sector" in The American: The Journal of the American Enterprise Institute.

As the economic downturn continues, churches are becoming a resource for those in need. "Religious organizations not only have the advantage of being financially resilient relative to other institutions in troubled times," writes Andrews, "but they can increasingly draw on volunteer enthusiasm to support external programs."

It is vital that Christians engage in works of service as an expression of the love of Christ Himself. For some ideas about how you can do this, visit FRC's Realcompassion.org Web site, which links to many ministries whose commitment to practical compassion will encourage and inspire you.