A Heart for the City

I am currently reading this book entitled, "A Heart for the City" . . . its a compilation of work from ministers across the world and time periods whom have dedicated their lives to urban ministry. Like the ultimate goldmine of thinking minds on this subject. This book is definitely going on my top 5 of all time by the time I am finished, I am sure. . . ok maybe top 10 . . . Piper, Lewis and Edwards have a tight hold on my heart. . . .

Anyway- LOVED THIS QUOTE - it sums up about a million conversations I have had lately about what is my biggest drive an passion as I am down here living this thing out with my people. . .

Many of us get very passionate and involved in one area of need and think if we solve this particular problem that all the other things will work out. As Christians, of course, this area is personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Evangelism and discipleship are the most vital element to Christian community development. - Wayne L Gordon

This is just it! Perfectly phrased. Talking tonight with my good friend Heidi about kids we minister to in our jobs (she is a genuine counselor and I am a middle school teacher that pretends to have a counseling degree) and the walls we hit when we realize the lack of options we have. So, hypothetically there is a girl being abused at home - but its not bad enough for child services, but even if it is? What is our current system? Family counseling that is rooted in human intellect? A foster system that has a foundation of people looking for an extra paycheck that happen to have an extra bedroom? Where this already jilted soul is shifted from home to home without the stability that many of us took for granted well into adulthood. . . I don't know the answer. . . but I do know one thing more and more solidly as I live my life this way.

Nothing, nothing, NOTHING will impact these souls and HEAL, CHANGE and bring HOPE other then the Holy Spirit.

So this deepens the call of the urban minister. To PREACH THE GOSPEL at all times and use words when necessary (St. Francis) We have no other option. No other tool or curriculum then the one laid out for us in the Scriptures.

Romans 1:16-17 "And I am not ashamed of the Gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed . . ."

So this is IT. This is the thing that will change lives. This is the element that drives all urban ministry. The small moments when you are talking alone with a child and you ask those questions, you tell that story. When you look at these kids through 'God eyes' . . . trying to see them for a tenth of what God sees them, your mouth can't help but open, the words can't help but come out. This is what He keeps us here for.

To GO and make DISCIPLES.

I was walking in Whole Foods one day and I happened to have my laptop in my bookbag. As I was walking and praying through the aisles, God gave me these amazing thoughts on evangelism and discipleship. So before I walked out the door, I sat down at a table and spewed these thoughts all over a Word document. I am still working on tying up some loose ends of it, and editing through my ramblings, but it felt necessary - like when a prayer intercessor talks about when they feel called to pray for someone - its like you have to pee really really bad and that feeling isnt relieved until you eventually pray. Sometimes God gives me thoughts like that. . . that I can't get out of my head until I write them down. This was one of those documents - I will post it up here soon.

Christ was the ultimate discipler. He was also the ultimate carrier of all spiritual gifts. As we are His body on earth, no one of us contains all of the gifts that He did, but together we create a present day physical Him on earth. This 'Body' is called to this discipleship - a concentrated group effort where gifts are highlighted and strenghts are highlighted. Through the working together of the Body, genuine discipleship can occur. These seeds of evangelism will not be scorched by the sun, blown away in the breeze or trampled on if the structure of this thing - however it looks for whatever ministry - is set in place to catch them and root them.

but we must must must work together.

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