It’s Not My Responsibility to Reach Out [Time Out]

Time Out quiet times for the youth worker's soulTime Out: Weekly quiet times for the youth worker’s soul.
(by Adam Wormann)

Disclaimer: Don’t worry, this isn’t about politics. Just bear with me.

I have a friend that is very interested in politics. So, things come up from time to time of a political nature in conversations. In a post on facebook, he was critical of the government’s involvement with social welfare programs. I told him that honestly, I blame the church for some of that, maybe even a lot. Somewhere along the line the church backed away somewhat from caring for the sick, feeding the poor, and taking care of those who are down in our communities. With the hole the church left, the government came in to fill. I said that if we’re going to complain about it, the church should be a part of the solution.

Another friend chimed in to say that it was a good point. Then he asked “Hey Adam, what are you doing individually to be a part of the solution.”

Good question.

I told him about some of the things that my wife and I do to be a part of the solution, but appreciate the point he made. Very often we talk about what the church needs to do, or what “people” need to do…we just don’t do it ourselves. That was a good gut check for me. It’s easy to get lazy about things.

Yesterday, we talked at church about Jesus spending time with “tax collectors and sinners.” We were looking specifically at Luke 15, and mentioned Luke 5 also. I’m not going to reprint them here, but would encourage you to go read them right now, and then come back here to the blog.

What you see in those chapters is Jesus personally going to spend time with the people He says He came to seek and save. Those that were ignored. Those that were distant from God. He came to reconcile people. Then, in Luke 15, he gave a pretty strong chastisement to the religious elite for their attitude, indicating that they ought to be rejoicing in the reconciliation of God and sinners, and even doing it themselves.

It’s easy for us to say that it’s the job of the church to reach out. That’s a part of most of our church’s mission statements. But, what are we doing on an individual level? When was the last time that we had people over for dinner from outside the church and got to know them better than a surface level. Have we ever really tried to share anything about faith with people, or do we shy away. These are the questions that I was forced to wrestle with.

It’s easy to make it about someone else. It’s much more difficult to make it about ourselves.

So, what are you doing, individually, to reach out to those separated from God?

Adam Wormann is a Youth Pastor in Old Bridge, NJ where he’s been serving for the past 8 years. He is also one of the mentors at Life in Student Ministry and the editor of the “Time Out” series. You can stalk him on Twitter and Facebook.

Posted on August 9, 2010

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