the weblog of Alan Knox

More than outreach

Posted by on Oct 12, 2009 in blog links, love, service | Comments Off

I love the name of Stephen’s blog: “Beyond Outreach.” Also, he hit a home run with his post “We ministered to them.” Here is an excerpt:

“I ministered to you” is condescending. I’m up here and you’re down here, lucky to receive whatever I am giving you. It creates an invisible social barrier that tells the person that they can not relate on the same level. It is also focused on what you are doing, and not on knowing the person. Many times this is just exactly what both parties really want. Both afraid of what kind of involvement really knowing the other person might require. It’s scary because the deeper you go, the dirtier you can get. But only in the fleshing out of a relationship, however awkward it may be, can real discipleship begin.

Consider the way of of the Savior.

Jesus went to the homes of people with bad reputations and spent time eating and drinking with them. He also went to the homes of proper religious leaders and shared meals there. He sometimes spent the night at the home of friends in Bethany and Capernaum. He even slept in a boat of fishermen. He sat and talked with a man that was considered a monster. When he travelled through Samaria he drank their water and slept in their villages when they let him. He slept outside many, many times…

So what does this mean for us? It means taking the risk and taking the initiative to begin a new relationship with someone we don’t know. It means humbling ourselves enough to make a sacrifice of our time and our privacy. It means placing everyone, even unseemly people on the same level as ourselves. It means going beyond being inconvenienced to changing the direction of our week, or month, or year… or lifetime.

There’s more to the post. Jump over to Stephen’s blog and read the whole thing. Then, join me in considering how often I attempt to “minister to them” and how often I’m actually willing to sacrifice of my time and privacy, among other things, to actually get to know people.