Shortly after I became a Christian, I invited a gay friend of mine to youth group. To my surprise, he seemed interested. He asked about the location and starting time and I promised to meet him at the door when he arrived. Then he asked an odd question, “Will they make me sit in the … Continue reading The Circle of Judgment – How the Church Keeps Outsiders Out
Paul’s letter to the Galatians is one of the most important theological texts in history. He writes the letter to confront the Galatians for believing the legalistic lie that to follow Christ, they must also be circumcised. The letter is important because it clarifies that Christians are saved by faith rather than works of the … Continue reading Is the Church Eager to Remember the Poor?
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
Jesus’ first teaching was “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” I picture Jesus spending the first thirty years of his life deciding what he would say first, and this was it. I grew up thinking this phrase meant, “Be sorry, because God is coming to get you — and soon!” It scared … Continue reading Close Enough to Touch
With his left hand, Steve smoked a cigarette. His right hand had been stabbed through — one of seven fresh knife wounds. A fellow homeless man had attacked him that morning. Rachel dialed 911 and held the phone up to his ear. After the call, Steve sat down and took a drink from a cup … Continue reading Marriage on Mission
All people are worthy of my time and attention. Notice this doesn’t say, “I think all people are worthy of my time and attention.” That's because the statement is not an opinion, it’s the truth. It will always be true, even when I completely botch it up and ignore the people that smell funny or … Continue reading Worthiness
My name is Preston and I am a minister to the poor. I get to interact with homeless men and women, children from broken homes, addicts, ex-cons, the poor elderly, and the mentally ill on a daily basis. I love it. My strong, intelligent, talented, absolutely gorgeous wife, Rachel, has walked beside me in this … Continue reading Values