My blog has moved!

You will be automatically redirected to the new address. If that does not occur, visit
and update your bookmarks.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Minding the Poor: Part IV

I am not “arm-chairing” this one; I have experience ministering to the poor. God used this opportunity to teach a lot of things about reaching the poor and I am going to share some of this with you.

How do we position ourselves to include the poor and homeless?

Don’t wait or depend on the church organization

Now, I assert that we must do this through the local church (this was one of my biggest mistakes with TNOP), but we cannot wait for the church organization to get on board. Yes, you should share anything that God is leading you to do with the leadership of your church, to gain wisdom and to gain prayer support, but the fact is that most churches are financially strapped or their process for making change is (for better or worse) too long. Positioning ourselves to minister to and include the poor will start at the small group level. We should not count on the direct help from the church organization but we also cannot do this alone; we need each other as we seek to minister and bring in the poor. The best way to do this is on a small group level, because not only is it manageable, there are spiritual benefits to it.

Don’t worry about the money

This sounds really counterintuitive, but let me assure you that if God wants this done, he will provide the money (and we will provide ways for you to raise the money). It is not smart to limit a God-given vision to dollars and cents (this is something we tell people considering missions all of time and the same principle works here). Pray as a small group and seek God’s face about what he would have you to do and then simply go for it and watch God provide. If the money does not come, you can always pray again and adjust accordingly; sometimes God wants us to move down a road without coming all the way to the end of it.

Expect bad things to happen

Is this a tad pessimistic? No, I don’t think so. Anytime we try to engage in something that God gives us to do, we will face many obstacles and opposition; bad things will happen. This however, cannot stop us from pursuing the work that God has for us; there are too many people to be rescued for us to retreat when the arrows start flying. We need to stick with it, trusting God to do what he has promised to do…even if it means that it goes ill for us.

Start off small

Even if God gives you a huge vision, and he will, start off with small steps. You cannot reach all the poor on your street, much less your neighborhood and city (or town) in one night. I think the best way to start is to do what Jesus said, have a celebration and invite the needy over to celebrate. If you treat them like any other friend or guest you would have over, many of them will see that you are genuine and will likely keep talking to you. Keep doing this regularly and often, making your house a place where they can come and enjoy themselves and feel loved. Over time, you can begin to share the truth of the Gospel into their lives. Don’t jump the gun though, start off small.

To Be Continued



At January 18, 2011 at 11:39 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good word on that topic. May the Lord lead in these works. That's great to hear this wisdom!


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home