It has been a passion of mine since Target ended about 8 years ago. The church can't ignore the poor. We just can't. Kim and I made a point to involve our family in the lives of a family who is in the throws of poverty. 3 generations of women and two small boys lived in the home when we first met them. All 3 generations of men were in prison.
For the past 7 years, we have reached out to them, visited often, taken groceries, took them on vacation, invited them to family functions, shared our hopes and dreams with them. We talked to them just a couple weeks ago even though our relationship has dwindled a bit since the boys have grown.
Was there an impact? It's hard to say. They have taken positive steps to be sure. They have jobs, and hopefully - they have more than a glimpse of hope that Jesus loves them and that life doesn't have to be like this.
My kids have benefitted tremendously from the relationship. They have a heart for the downtrodden. Caleb told me again the other day that he was elected as captain at recess to help choose up the sides for their daily football game. I came to tears as he described his decision to pick the kids first that always get picked last. That attitude should be in the DNA of every Christ follower - because it was certainly Jesus' example to us.
The church can't sit by and watch poverty happen all around us without our consciences being seared by the love of Christ. I'm excited to preach about it this weekend and I'm excited to invite the church to go on a journey together to make a difference in our city.
Informational meetings will be after all three services for 15 minutes in the commons.