Those who know me well are aware that helping the poor is something that’s very close to my heart. When I cut my teeth on organic church life over 20 years ago, our church began a ministry to the homeless. It was an enlightening experience for all involved, and God used it to teach me many lessons.
Beyond the lessons I learned about the nuts-and-bolts of working with street people, three other lessons come to mind:
* One was that church outreach projects (just like in-reach projects) are seasonal. If they are done out of season, they will bear little fruit. (I discuss the seasons that a Christ-governed, Spirit-led church passes through in Finding Organic Church.)
* Another lesson has to do with following our spiritual instincts versus trying to follow an external command. From the beginning, my ministry has been centered on learning how to live by the indwelling Life of Christ. We know the indwelling Life of Christ by spiritual instinct. The nature of that Life is love . . . treating others the same way we would want to be treated if we were standing in their shoes. Love, therefore, is how the Life of Christ operates and functions in and through us (see 1 John).[Continue Reading…]