Often people tell me they are afraid of our friends in the Innercity and wouldn’t know what to say if approached by a “street person”. They want everyone to know the love of God. They perhaps can “go witnessing” but don’t know “how to make disciples.”
Recently I heard an urban pastor John Perkins give a teaching on Innercity service. Here is some wisdom I’ve gleaned from him
How to be an Effective Pastoral Care Worker
As we serve those of the innercity we must make sure our street friends walk one of these three roads.
1. The Damascus Road
God saves us in order that we might become His workmandship. You don’t disciple a person into relationship. They must repent of their sins. When you meet God you recognize who He is. That in itself brings about repentance. Then you ask God “Lord what would you have me do?” Then He gives us a vision to see what God sees.
2. The Emmaus Road
This is the road to discipleship. It is to dream dreams into another person. To share a vision with them and training them to continue that vision. Jesus meets people in their pain and he begins to disciple them again. You need someone walking with you in your life. Most of the people that I meet who are in trouble don’t have anyone to hold them accountable in life. When these young men and women leave our agency we need to have them connected with other people who are going to hold them accountable in life.
3. The Jericho Road
This is the road of service. How we relate to our neighbour and our neighbourhood is the acid test of the Christian faith. We can say that we have God which is a mouth experience. But you don’t love God just with words. You Love God with deed and with truth.
Compassion is more than pity. It draws you to that other person. I think we need to embrace compassion in our churches and prove it with service. Our suburban church needs to be partnered with the Innercity. It will be evidence of the road to service to our whole community.