I read this passage in the book of James the other day and, naturally, it scared the hell out of me: “Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will … Continue reading Five Simple Ways to Help the Poor in 2018
A couple years ago, after a small church gathering, a volunteer approached me and said, “I’m afraid my wife and I won’t be helping at the gathering anymore.” “Sorry to hear that,” I replied. He continued, “It’s just that so many of those who attend have no reverence for the church. Especially Bill. He’s always … Continue reading The Grit of the Kingdom
A handful of people have recently asked me how they should approach ministry to the poor. Specifically, they want to know how to get started. I used to tell people, "Pray and do what Jesus tells you." While this is still the best approach, I’ve realized it’s not the most helpful advice. Ministry to the … Continue reading Loving the Poor – “How Do I Get Started?”
I’ve been struggling to produce a blog every week. I used to sit down and hammer out a month’s worth of material, but lately I’ve written each post a day or two in advance. Some weeks I’ve written two or three rough drafts and scrapped them after realizing my half-hearted, half-baked opinions aren’t interesting. There’s … Continue reading What is Leadership?
Simon Sinek says that, in order to motivate people to act, we have to start with the why. We can tirelessly explain exactly what we want a person to do, and that might work temporarily. But if we really want to call someone to action, that person must be motivated by deep rooted belief rather … Continue reading Why Minister to the Poor?
In ministry to the poor, I often feel lonely. I’m guessing others in this ministry feel the same way. We come to Christ at some point in our lives, read the gospels, and draw the conclusion: I think Jesus wants me to care for the poor. Then we show up in a poor neighborhood and … Continue reading Can We Have a Conversation?
A sinful woman once knelt before Jesus and anointed him with a jar of expensive perfume. The apostles saw the act as wasteful, because the woman could have sold the perfume and given the money to the poor. Jesus tells his disciples to shut up, because the woman had done a beautiful thing. He also … Continue reading Should We Try to End Poverty?
Who is Jesus talking about in the gospel of Luke when he says, “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.” (Luke 6:20b, ESV)? When I talk to other Christians about Jesus and the poor, the conversation typically focuses on three demographics: The working poor — Men and women who … Continue reading Are Poor People Really Blessed?
For over a decade now, I’ve had the joy of interacting with men and women who are said to be on the “margins of society.” The word margin simply means “the edge or border of something.” When describing people, the word typically references those who don’t fit into the normal social structure of a community. … Continue reading Black Hole Jesus
You can read Pt. 1 in this series here. There’s really no way around it — ministry to the poor is heart-wrenching. My friend Mike Spencer was making strides. He had repented of his sins and decided to follow Jesus with his whole life. But Mike was still homeless and had no clear path to … Continue reading Mike Spencer — Pt. 2