Have you ever looked into the eyes of a child who everyone called “difficult” only to find yourself seeing all the insecurities they are trying to hide?
Have you ever seen past the stone cold demeanor of a teenager who really only wanted someone to notice them and find value in what they’ve seen?
Have you tried to engage an older person in conversation long enough to hear the weight in the words they utter?
Have you tried to tell someone who is dying of hunger about a Jesus who cares for their every need?
I have. And what I have found is that it is more important for me to actually act like Jesus than to tell them about Jesus. You see, the homeless man who didn’t get regular meals did not want to hear about Jesus from Dustin until after Dustin had bought him a meal and taken care of the physical first. That child who hears nothing but negativity doesn’t need a lecture from me about what obedience looks like until he’s seen that I truly care about him.
What Jesus did when He came was meet needs. He healed bodies, he helped financially and he truly loved the people He encountered.
We are called to follow His lead and for Dustin & I, at this time, that means leaving a traditional “church” setting in order to be an offshoot of the big Church. There is nothing wrong with big, beautiful affluent churches. As a matter of fact, those have a specific job to do for those seeking God in affluent communities but what God has crafted into our very being is something much different.
Knit into our DNA is this desire to serve those who may not traditionally be sought after in our churches. Our passion is not really to create a place to invite them but to go out where they are. Our heart is to LITERALLY seek out the lost and SHOW them who Jesus is.
Because who He is… is more than enough. He is our provider, protector, friend and all the family we need. And He sees us. Right where we are.
And so, yes, we have traded our roles and positions at a vibrant church in favor of a small group that is going to serve the community in a very organic way but while this is the least normal thing we’ve ever done it also feels the most natural and is the most exciting.
Thank you so much for your continued prayers as we reach out to the communities represented and very simply try to meet needs. And please let us know how we can pray for you!