On the way into Charm City church in West Baltimore I usually stop make a stop in the neighborhood to grab a coffee. Almost for certain someone will be standing outside the doors, begging for money. This week I was ready!! I copied a few verses out of my Bible and was going to hand it out to whoever was waiting at the door.
When I arrived, sure enough there was a man standing there waiting. As I approached he asked for change, I told I'd get him on the way out of the store and handed him my paper. I told him he needed to explain two of these verses to me when I come out. I took a few steps away and he said, "Sir but I'm muslim". I told him, that was ok, at one time I was Catholic, and Jesus came for "whosoever", and when I came back out, I'd explain it to him.
As I came out I noticed he was gone, but I noticed a woman on the other side of the doors. As I made my way around the building, she asked me if I had change? I do not have coins, but I have "some life change" - that's a modern day approach to "I have neither silver or gold". I asked her name and introduced myself, handed her the piece of paper, looked her in the eyes and build instant credibility with our conversation. The Holy Spirit came upon her and she broke!! Within seconds of speaking to each other she was crying on my shoulder. When approaching anyone, you need to have something more in your pocket than the Roman Road. Not taking anything away from it, because I have used it hundreds of times to lead people to Christ; however, we need to understand or have an idea of where the people is in life before we can lead them. Nikki was open and shared her life, this made it easy to me to build rapport.
"He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone". - John 8:7b
They felt like someone cared
Hundreds of people have walked past them this past week, and no one took the time to say hi, to care, who speak to them. As Ambassadors of the Christ Jesus, are we not called to care for the least among us? The next time you see someone who is struggling and is in the fight, take time to learn something about them. And maybe, before you leave - you could hug them and let them know they are loved. It's a great way to lead them to Christ and get them into a local church. Next week, I am planning on meeting them with some ladies from a local church and let the women minister to them.
** Street Note..... people will hustle you, be ready. Either come with something or instead of giving money, buy them a sandwich or coffee. Ideas to have with you.... socks, hats, gloves, hygiene products. Don't always focus on handing "stuff out". We are here is share the Gospel, empower them - not entitle them. It is a delicate balance, and without street sense - you can end up doing social welfare. Focus on Jesus.
We encourage churches to get beyond the walls.