Sunday, August 19, 2007

A Safe Place

Just returned from church and from an awesome testimony from a young man who spent the summer in New Orleans in the inner-city working with children. The center he worked in, which is supported by the North American Mission Board, is right smack dab in the middle of a very dangerous neighborhood with all sorts of crime, immorality, etc. going on. It was, in essence, a summer-long VBS with a reading and math element injected into it. He taught the kids reading, math and recreation. His purpose there was to show the kids and their families that there is hope in Jesus Christ, even in the midst of the rubble that is New Orleans.

Out of everything he said during his time of sharing, one thing stuck out to me: He said the center was known as a safe place in the midst of this broken down neighborhood for kids to go to. That got me to thinking about the church - Christ's body.

Is it a safe place to go to for people who are broken down? Or is it a place of condemnation, judgement and legalism? Or maybe a place that they feel alienated and alone because no one welcomes them into the family when they show up for church? Are we willing to get messy and dirty helping people who most times don't even want or realize the need the Lord? Or are we satisfied to sit back in our complacency, mediocrity and apathy?

Just wondering...

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