Wednesday, June 18, 2014


A local church has a ministry to the homeless which welcomes folks from the street every Monday to come in, get out of the weather and have some food, get some clothes.  If any of these folks would like to use the bathroom, however, they will be escorted, on the chance that they might wander around the church.  That is better than another church, who welcomed the homeless in, but denied their use of the bathroom altogether, on the chance that they might use drugs in there. Another church thought about opening up their church to the homeless, but after consulting with their insurance agency, they decided it was too risky.  Another church was considering opening up their facility to a successful homeless ministry for three hours a week, but they insisted on having an insurance policy that would cost the lowly funded homeless ministry to pay a thousand dollars a year.

Ministry is not programming, it is love; and true love is risky.  Love makes us vulnerable, opens up possibilities of hurt, exhaustion, sacrifice and pain. The love of Jesus means that we take risk for those who need us most: the sinner, the needy, the desperate, the forsaken.

Yes, boundaries and safeguards are wise and good.  But when we shame or deny others basic help because of possible consequences, then we are not living the love of Jesus.  Love should never be put as a lesser priority to our fears.

It is a shame to be under the name of Jesus, but be unwilling to sacrifice for the lost.

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