Thursday, February 5, 2009

Wrestlings of an inner-city church planter

Below is a letter I wrote to a brother in Christ who is planting a church in the inner-city of Washington DC.. He is frustrated and feeling the pressures that many inner-city church planters have met with, including myself. I have copied and pasted this letter here as an encouragement to any one who is facing similar struggles and obstacles

Dear Brother in Christ,

Great to talk with you and pray with you today. Seems like we are dealing with a lot of the same stuff. God is bigger than the struggles we face and greater than anything the enemy may throw our way. Know, also, that God uses what seems to us to be obstacles to grow us and stretch us for His good purpose, so that when all is said and done, we will not be able to say, "Look what we have done," but, "Look at what God has done."
Denominational leaders do not always see the reality of what you and I have seen up close and first hand; drug dealers recruiting 11, 12 and 13 yr.old boys to be delivery boys, paying them money to ride drugs around the corner or down the street on their bikes. The gang bangers offering these same kids a family environment that they are not getting in the home. Pimps hanging around our inner-city neighborhood, buying candy and presents for preteen girls (we know what their real agenda is). Young, single mothers having baby after baby, and remaining stuck in a vicious cycle of public assistance, and dead beat dads who want nothing to do with the children they have fathered and brought into this world (which adds to this cycle by sparking a flame of anger and hostility within these fatherless children). Some of these single mothers have to resort to lying to the gov't, selling their bodies and/or drugs, etc, just to survive. All of this is a vicious cycle that feeds off of brokenness and hopelessness. This is what oppression and injustice look like up close and personal
It is these urban centers of brokenness, hopelessness and injustice that God has called men like you and me to go to, with His message of love, hope, peace and grace. Not just a message of words, but of works as well. Jesus dealt with the whole person. He fed them physically and spiritually. That's what He did. That is what he told His disciples to do. And that is what you and I must do. We are to live as Christ lived, love as He loved, and serve as He served. If we focus on the one simple task of knowing Christ and making Him known, it does not need to be any more complicated than that.

I will also say this. Be resolved to stick it out, no matter what. Regardless if anyone else sees your vision or feels your burden. If God has spoken to you, let that be your guiding voice. Seek godly counsel, listen to what they have to say. Accept whatever help God sends your way that will accomplish the mission He has sent you on. Let nothing hinder you or stand in your way. Be resolved to go wherever and do whatever, as God leads. I can honestly say that this is one hill I will stand on and die on because I know that God has sent me. God does not send people out to fail, but to accomplish His mission. And, wherever He guides, He also provides.
Amen, brother. Keep up the great work God has called you to. Call me anytime.