When God moved us out of full-time vocational ministry and into a high school, I had no idea how messy some aspects of our ministry would be. Our first year we focused on building relationships in the community and adjusting to a new job. We got involved with a local apartment community and helped with a local back-to-school outreach and Christmas outreach.
Now, three years later, our most recent endeavor, though, has put us into closer contact with the people we’re trying to serve. And it’s gotten messy…really messy. We are dealing with people who have great need and little support.
– Single moms raising multiple children and cars that need constant repairs. Those same single moms are working, going to school to try to improve their lives (and the lives of their children), and are spread so thin that they have no time for themselves.
– Children running around their apartment complex with little supervision and little direction for their lives. Fathers are absent from much of this community.
– People struggling with addictions and life-altering decisions (and those that love them trying to guide them to the right path. Sometimes it works; sometimes it does not.)
And much, much more that I’m sure we haven’t even begun to scratch the surface. But one thing I know and am convinced of…
Our presence is needed. Because our desire is, no matter what the circumstance, to point them to Jesus. Only He can save. Only He can restore. Only He can heal. We cannot save them. But we can be there to point them to the only one who can.
If we’re not there, will God call someone else to go? I’m sure he would. But what happens to all these people in the meantime? If God calls us to share His love, His grace, and His mercy, then what are we waiting for?
There are people in your neighborhood, probably even on your block, that need the same thing that these people need: for someone to show them God’s love. They need to see God’s mercy and forgiveness extended to them in tangible ways. There are people all around us who are hurting and searching for the truth. God wants you to point them to Christ and show them mercy.
Romans 10:14 says, “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?”
We are called to be those “preachers” to those around us. Not to preach at them, but to live the gospel and proclaim the gospel in a way that draws them to Jesus.
Not sure how? Here’s a great blog post from The Verge Network with some ideas 10 Simple Ways to be Missional. Then, get out there and start preaching!