I received the burden for Jackson, TN long ago. I’ve tried to help families in Jackson for a long time now. I’ve been in their homes. Talked with their kids. I’ve helped get their utilities back on, get home repairs made, and avoid eviction. I’ve treated their kids’ mental health issues, managed their care, and helped them get benefits. I’ve educated and tutored, taught life skills and parenting. I’ve sat with them in the worst of environmental conditions and listened to them cry. I’ve driven them to look for housing and employment and hauled their possessions once they found a home. I’ve taken kids fishing and to the planetarium and to McDonald’s. I was happy to find out one such young man that I mentored years ago while in middle school graduated last year with a full scholarship to Vanderbilt.
I entered our first effort at beginning a daughter work in East Jackson with the same mindset that I had working in Jackson as a social worker- reach out a helping hand, extend kindness, try to provide some resources to help those in need. Be the hands and feet of Jesus. Trying to begin a church that way was not fruitful for a couple of reasons:
– We weren’t giving anyone anything they couldn’t get from any of 10 or 20 other sources. There are churches, non-profits, and charitable givers everywhere!
– Helping is not what you do for someone, it is what you do with someone.
– A ministry must be manageable and sustainable. What we were doing was neither.
The scripture from 1 Peter 1 tells what we can offer that no one else can offer, what will bring us together on the same page with those we’re called to serve:
Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into. (1 Peter 1:8-12 KJV)
We cannot achieve heavenly outcomes with earthly means. They arent looking for what the world has to offer! The most essential and sustainable activities for spreading the gospel are taking place.
And Jesus went about all the cities and villages,
in their synagogues, and
the gospel of the kingdom, and
every sickness and every disease among the people. Mt. 9:35
What do you think? Let me know in the comments.
Copyright (c) 2013 Glen Gaugh