Thursday, September 10, 2009

Outreach screams for help...

I used to wonder why Jesus started his outreach program with prayer for help... not anymore.

In Luke 10, Jesus told his disciples to go prepare some cities for His visit. His instructions were specific and if studied deeply (as they have been by many) incredibly profound. So much so that outreach ministries like ours model that passage 'to the t'. Here's the passage (note the highlighted verbs):

Luke 10:1-9
The Lord now chose seventy-two other disciples and sent them ahead in pairs to all the towns and places he planned to visit. 2 These were his instructions to them: "The harvest is great, but the workers are few.
So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.
3 Now go, and remember that I am sending you out as lambs among wolves. 4 Don't take any money with you, nor a traveler's bag, nor an extra pair of sandals. And don't stop to greet anyone on the road. 5 "Whenever you enter someone's home,
first say
, 'May God's peace be on this house.' 6 If those who live there are peaceful, the blessing will stand; if they are not, the blessing will return to you. 7 Don't move around from home to home.
in one place, eating and drinking what they provide. Don't hesitate to accept hospitality, because those who work deserve their pay. 8 "If you enter a town and it welcomes you, eat whatever is set before you.
9 Heal the sick, and
then say
to them, 'The Kingdom of God is near you now.'

Those verbs, in that order, and what is meant by them are the Crosswind Neighbor strategy. But why is pray at the top? And look at what the prayer is for. Not whether or not we should go. Not where we should. He answered those questions. Funny how we sometimes still pray about those things. No, He instructed us to pray for help, "people help" specifically.

Here's how I pray for people help:
1. Lord, touch the hearts of people so they can see the world like you do and fill them with your compassion.
2. Lord, move those people by your compassion to the people who need you.
3. And Lord, when we get there (in the field together) let us with love and unity, work together for you, for your interests, for your glory and for the good of the people you have sent us to.

You see, here's reality: There are lots of people doing a lots of loving things out of the goodness of their hearts. Civic clubs, churches, charities, ministries, and government organizations. But oh how much more effective we will be when we begin to do them together.
I'll be blogging about that in the days to come, until then...

Pray for people help.

1 - read/write comments:

Bubba McQueen said...

Until we can get our collective community benevolence efforts networked, we won't make the necessary impact in our city. Too often, many great assistance programs never get resources to the people they were created to help. Crosswind has found that simple communication and a deeper knowledge of the target recipient's daily obstacles will allow for more efficient assistance. We are learning as we go and definitely have a long way to go before we have it all figured out. Hopefully, we can help in facilitating a network in Corinth so that we all can help the marginalized in Corinth.

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