Monday, August 8, 2016
Over the past three years the support we have received from friends, family, and partner churches has been truly humbling and very affirming. What we do not just here in the “Shadow of the Downs”, but all over the city of Louisville is difficult, grueling, and yes, sometimes dangerous work. The support and prayers we have received from so many of you has no doubt played a significant role in keeping us in the “fight”. We do a job and ministries few others are willing or capable of doing, and we absolutely love it. With that said, for us, it really isn’t a job or even a ministry; it is who we have become as children of God.
It wasn’t always this way though, at least for me. If you had asked me in seminary what I wanted to do, I probably wouldn’t have been able to articulate to you a clear picture of what that was. However, if you had asked me what I didn’t want to do? Well, just come and hang out with me on any given day, and I would have articulated that very clearly for you…Urban pastor? Missional pastor? Church planter? Ministry with the poor? Convicts? Addicts? Drunks? Prostitutes? Gangbangers? Thieves? The homeless? Children? I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I sure enough knew what I didn’t want to do. Now I cannot imagine any other life.
When you find Jesus in the streets; in the face of the forgotten, the invisible, and the unwanted, there is no going back. Life can never be the same. I ask my church and my friends all of the time, “What if we really lived like we believe the things that we proclaim?” One of the things we do especially well down here is that we give people an opportunity to find out. Scripture comes to life in places like this and in the faces and lives of those we serve; it changes both the served and the server. Not feeling God in the pew? Not seeing Him in the daily grind? Come and hang out with us. There is more to this faith than Sunday morning or some praise music.
It is to these ends, that I am going to make a plea to the same folks that have been praying for us, applauding us, and supporting us. Join us. Not in the change your membership to us sort of way. As a pastor I’ve never been one to care about such things and I care even less about it now. But rather join us in the “being the hands and feet of Jesus” kind of way. In the making real, palpable, and instantaneous differences in the life of a child kind of way. In the “restoring hope and dignity in the lives of people who have forgotten what such things are” kind of way. In the “I want to live like I believe” kind of way.
If you can read to a child. If you can scoop food on a plate. If you can talk to people that Jesus loves. If you can hand someone a piece of food on the street. If you can pray with someone. If you can simply be present in the lives of people who truly feel forgotten, unloved, and unwanted…we NEED you and have a place for you. Please consider being the answer to the prayers that you pray for us and the well wishes you wish for us.
In the coming days we are going to officially begin our fundraising campaign here at Heathen Church. When you minister to and serve people who cannot support themselves, much less a church, we have to rely on the generosity of our friends and family. To those ends, I will warn you, I will probably drive all of you nuts before this is over. But right now, what we need as badly as funding, is friends to come alongside of us. We need people who are ready to live their faith. We need people ready to live like they believe.
Please consider joining us. Please do not hesitate to contact me on here, in private message, in email (firstname.lastname@example.org), by phone, by carrier pigeon, smoke signals, whatever it takes.