Saturday, April 08, 2006

What Are We Gonna Do About It?

All of the recent violence in the community has made me think a lot and has challenged me. Part of me gets angry with the system, the police, the mayor, the media, the politicians, etc. Part of me gets angry about the one’s that pulled the trigger. I think mostly I’m upset with the church, and I’m challenged personally as a part of the body.
I read Ambassador’s article this morning entitled “From the Concert, To The Classroom, To the Corner.” I think for us (meaning us and the body of Christ) we could change the title slightly to “From the Program, To the Classroom, To The Corner.” Ambassador talks about how he feels they have unhealthily focused so much on the concert/stage that they have become unbalanced and have at times neglected personal spiritual disciplines and time on the corner (serving, evangelizing, and just having a presence). I think we fall into the same thing. We spend the majority of our time doing stuff (programs) or preparing/planning stuff. Now I don’t think we need to cut programs I know they are important, and I am not saying that we don’t need to plan and prepare well, because we need to be doing that with excellence. The problem comes in when we go weeks without sharing our faith with a non-believer who we often times walk by or drive by on the way to our “programs.” The problem comes in when we don’t have time to get to know the people in our building, let alone the people on our block. We have neglected the “ministry of presence.” We should know the police officer’s by name who patrol our block. We should be attending the local CAPs meetings faithfully, and we should be taking the youth with us to these meetings. We should be involved in our local block clubs, and if our block doesn’t have one, we should work to start one. We should be involved in the local schools. The principals and teachers should know our name. The local alderman should know us, or at least the people in his/her office should if he/she is not accessible. We should be shopping in our neighborhood, and getting to know the business owners. We should be eating at the local restaurants regularly. We should get to know the guys standing on the corner. We have got to be salt and light – we have got to have a presence.

All of this is going to take a lot of “knee work” (prayer) and disciplined and fervent study of the Word of God. And it is going to take a lot of discipline and accountability to maintain balance in our lives. Finally, it is going to take a lot of hard work (1 Cor. 15:18) in His strength (John 15). Why shouldn’t we be exhausted when we go to bed at night? Why shouldn’t we be working long hours 6 days a week? If we are serious about doing Kingdom work, I think this is what it takes.