Better Than Prayer in Schools
Many evangelical churches want to over-church everything.
I am not against spreading the gospel. But I do think that we favor those things that are comfortable and easy — care packages with Bible verses included, notes of “Jesus loves you,” having a prayer day, etc. Not that these are wrong, but we need to also be willing to get involved personally and to commit to long-term relationships.
Kip Jacobs shares these ideas in this video about how churches can have a meaningful impact in their neighborhoods. Beyond praying and evangelizing, churches need to get their hands dirty, to get involved personally. That is what it means to show the love of God.
Here are some lines that hit me pretty hard:
“If you can determine fairly accurately a child’s educational outcomes based on their zip code — and you can in America — that’s injustice.”
“One of the things about the suburbs is we’re nice. And I did a study of the word ‘nice’ once, and it comes from the Latin word meaning ‘to ignore.’ And we are good at ignoring.”
“The best way to convince people that you don’t have an agenda, is to not have an agenda.”
The New York Times wrote an article about the unlikely partnership between this willing church, these wary schools, and an openly gay mayor. In Help From Evangelicals (Without Evangelizing), you can see how a single event was a springboard to deeper relationships. The goal of the events is facilitate relationships, as opposed to relationships being formed in order to get tasks done (I wrote about this in A Summer of Relationships and Camps).
“Getting Christian boots on the ground was the easy part. Restraining those boots from proselytizing was the challenge. The very essence of being evangelical, after all, is spreading the good news of the Gospel. Every virtuous act is meant to glorify God.”
Or, as the prophet Micah spoke:
“He has told you, O man, what is good;
And what does the LORD require of you
But to do justice, to love kindness,
And to walk humbly with your God?”
- “Prayer Back in Schools” Is NOT the Answer
- Why Christians Should Serve Outside the Church
- Mentoring: A Gameplan for Poverty
- The Gospel Gives Me a Heart for the Poor
- Just Do Something
- Equality Is Not Equity
**image courtesy of Lel4nd via flickr