UPDATE: check out the GTI ‘volunteer training manual’ as well!
NOTE: Apparently my new frequent blogging style is to read some little ‘thing’ from someone else’s posts, and blog about them… like this. Oh well…
Two points stood out for me when I read Creating communities of grace:
(5) Eat and drink with broken people
The Son of Man who receives all authority in Daniel 7 comes eating and drinking (Luke 7:34). Jesus eats and drinks with sinners. It’s a powerful expression of community. We think we are enacting grace if we work among the poor, if we serve them. But we are only half way there. It is not really grace because we still act from a position of superiority. We think we are humble when we serve. But we have missed the dynamic that is going on. What we really proclaim is that we are able and you are unable. I can do something for you, but you can do nothing for me. Think how different the dynamic is when we sit and eat with someone. We meet as equals. We share together. We behave as friends. We affirm one another and enjoy one another.
(7) Focus on the heart
What’s your agenda for change? All too often we focus on behaviour. We can list the behaviours we would like someone to stop or start. But Jesus says our behaviour comes from the heart (Mark 7:20-23). Our focus needs to be on the heart. Our job is to help people love God and treasure Christ. In Philippians 1 Paul says the aim of his ministry among them is their joy (1:25-26). He wants them to find joy in Christ – only then will people turn from the pleasures of sin. I do need to describe a life that pleases God. But my job is not to go round telling people to reform their lives or change their behaviour. My job is help people find joy in Christ.
Jesus – I pray that our adventure in serving with those around Richmond who are without a home or are poor be less about me and more about You. May we all recognize our humble roles and not as superiors. May we get to know those we meet *as friends* not acquaintances. May we not focus on what they ‘need to do’ and instead just love them where they are at … to find joy in Christ.