On Tuesday evening, I had an eye-opening and heart-touching experience that I want to share with you. I had a District Pastors meeting at Wilken's Ave. Mennonite Church in Baltimore. I accidentally arrived 45 minutes early (I wish that would happen to CCF members on Sundays). Anyway, since I had time to kill and it was a beautiful 75 degree evening, I decided to cruise around the streets of Baltimore with my doors locked and my windows down...makes sense, huh? After 5 minutes, I was in deep thought about what I was seeing. After 20, I was becoming choked up and felt like I was going to begin weeping for these streets. In 30 minutes I saw drug deals, drug dealers, prostitutes, drunks, open alcohol, high people stumbling around, tears, anger, children with no parents around and hardly any clothes on and more...a lot more. This area surrounding this church is ripped with pain, brokenness, poverty, lost people and stuck people. I cannot really even articulate it for you here, because even as I type right now, I am feeling for this area and lost people in an overwhelming way! I don't even know what to say.
Let me start here. How broken are we for broken people? How much of your energy goes into people that are lost, confused and dying? Have you ever driven through a neighborhood like this? Listen, I know that the nations need us! But, I am also struck by the fact that my neighborhood needs me! Baltimore, DC, and PG County has no shortage of lost and broken lives that need put back together.
I think that God is looking for people that are going to love the lost more than they do the saved! ...And live that out by putting more of their money, effort, time, energy and resources into going after them. Maybe, just maybe it should be the church? And don't tell me that it's already doing it...because it isn't! The church spends the huge majority of its money, time and energy pleasing itself and what kind of music and carpet it wants.
My prayer this afternoon is that we will become urgently concerned about loving and reaching people so that Jesus can forgive them and heal them! If this post wasn't already so long, I would start sharing with you what God has been showing me in Luke 7:36-50 over the last few days. Will post on this soon.