Follow these examples
Are you tired of the talk and complaining? You know – Violence, drugs, loneliness, divorce — you know the list. Have you heard it all, done it all, seen it all, and you still wonder, “Am I even making a difference at all?” Perhaps you’ve made a serious commitment to do whatever it takes to make a difference in the lives of kids today. You are visiting and impacting kids on their turf. But now what?
We all agree — we have cried, talked, and blamed for far too long. Finally, many Christian workers are saying, “Enough is enough, today’s kids are in pain!” They scream for answers and assurance that what they do will make a difference. It is tough, so here’s what you do. Get out of the center of what everyone else is doing. Go out to the edge. Get a little crazy. Take a risk and get ‘edge’ – ucated
Jesus gave us an example to follow so we can make that difference. 1 Peter 2:21 says: “For Christ also suffered on our behalf, leaving us an example, that you should follow in His steps.” What was Jesus’ ministry strategy? He intentionally went through Samaria and other cities. Jesus hung out and reached out to sinners. Jesus supplied spiritual and physical needs from the least to the greatest. Jesus had only a few disciples but His kingdom endures forever.
Do you want to minister like that? There is a refreshing movement that blows through the urban streets of America today. It’s called “incarnational” ministry, which is simply to live and be enriched by the people you minister to. These ideas will inspire your creativity and enhance your ministry with city kids.
- Work with children and families from the same neighborhood through after-school tutoring, CEF Good News Clubs, and summer day camps. There is a peculiar focus upon indigenous leadership development, which spans many years, with the goal of tracking students through college graduation and back into their community as leaders committed to repeating the cycle of indigenous development.
- Conduct a comprehensive, block-by-block visitation approach to build life-changing relationships with boys and girls. The inner city can be divided into several districts. Buses transport children to the big Saturday events, which feature high-energy games, live music, one central Bible truth, the Gospel and special activities designed to grip the kid’s attention. District events are conducted with church partners for discipleship of the children and their families.
- An organization or church could begin buying property at various “city gates” (entry points) to their city. Set up a “feeding center” for meeting the physical and spiritual needs of youth, which would open from 3-5 pm seven days a week. It could feature a worship center, dining area, and soda shop with arcade games.
- Network with churches sponsoring an “Angel Tree” event at Christmas. Provide assistance and volunteers. Because the child of a prisoner has a seven times greater chance of going to prison, ask to continue weekly ministry with the same group of children. Tutoring, mentorships, Bible clubs, and other discipleship could involve the children several days each week. Consider this to be a long-term project of 5-15 years.
There are numerous examples across America. What will you do next?