Something incredible has happened in my neighborhood over the past few years: It has gotten better. I don’t have any statistics to back that up, but I’m here every day and I see it and feel it. The local churches are actively ministering to the poor on a relational level. The city has invested in … Continue reading The Good News of God’s Faithfulness in My Neighborhood
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 known Trevor and Karen for a couple of years. They aren’t married, but they have two children together. Karen was adopted from the foster system when she was ten years old. She can’t remember a time when she didn’t struggle with alcohol or substance abuse. Trevor, on the other hand, is the youngest of … Continue reading “If It Cries” – Why Jesus Doesn’t Abandon the Lost
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?
If you’ve read anything I’ve written, you know that I work with the poor. And up until recently, I was employed by a local church to minister to a specific neighborhood in New Albany, Indiana. Then, because of some upcoming life changes, I left that job. You can read about it here if you want. I spent … Continue reading Introducing Nomad
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?
We have two showers at Midtown Commons. For the first three years I worked here, no one showered in them. In fact, we just used the showers for storage space. Then, one day, Linda (who I mentioned last month) came into the Commons and asked if she could take a shower. She was a mess … Continue reading Dignity Pt. 1 – Showers
Christians are people who believe Jesus. This simple identity goes beyond believing facts about Jesus. That he is the Son of God, that he died for the sins of humanity, that he conquered death. Believing Jesus means that when Jesus opens his mouth to teach us, we listen and obey. The most succinct way to … Continue reading The Missing Phrase
Linda is off the hook crazy. I first met her when my pastor friend Brian responded to a call FROM THE POLICE to assist in a domestic situation. Brian and I drove down an ally to find a woman ranting and raving in front of what looked like a yard sale. It wasn’t a yard … Continue reading Good News to the Poor – Usefulness for All