Friday, May 30, 2008

when it's time to change you've got to rearrange!

Hello dear friends,

It’s been a while. Since my last post, another friend died of alcohol poisoning (he was one day older than me) and my grandmother died of cancer. I’m actually in the States this week attending her funeral and visiting with family. It’s been a tough month.

It’s always strange to come back to the place where I was born. I moved to Oklahoma when I was ten years old, but until that time I lived in the Northern panhandle of West Virginia, about 45 minutes outside of Pittsburgh. To come back here is to visit a place that America’s government forgot. About thirty years ago America’s government began selling these people out to China. Their steel mills began shutting down and, after building their entire economies around the steel industry, they were left with little to fall back on. Many of them fell back on alcohol. Today they seem to be falling back on what they call “café’s” which are nothing more than a poor man’s casino. It’s heartbreaking to see.

I went to visit the local Salvation Army church in this town but it has been recently closed. I pose the question again: how does the Salvation Army become irrelevant in a poor community? How long will we maintain our motto of “full steam ahead” while pieces of our ship lay broken off and floating behind us? If serious changes aren’t needed in our church, then what is? Are we waiting for the world to change? That’s a terrible strategy. Heaven forbid we maintain the same goals but change the methods we use in which to reach those goals.

I maintain my belief that reaching a lost community isn’t hard. The hard part is talking Christians into doing it.

On a brighter note, Jamie and I have just received word that the Salvation Army intends to continue funding our ministry in North London. We’ve not received the details yet, but we’ve been greatly encouraged by the correspondence and meetings we’ve had lately. It seems that God is doing a work among the immigrant population (in particular) of our neighbourhood, and the Army is keen to continue being a part of that. Your prayers continue to be appreciated though as church planting is expensive and can be extremely lonely at times.

God bless

Comments on "when it's time to change you've got to rearrange!"


Blogger tarisayl said ... (4:23 PM) : 


I am very sorry for your losses and very happy for the continuation of your ministry. It's really good to hear from you again.


Blogger Larry said ... (2:00 AM) : 


sorry for your just lost a friend last week. i went to his funeral wednesday. i went to another funeral today of a great man (sean savage's grandpa)

glad to hear you got another year of ministry. that means when i come to london in april i will have somewhere to experience some of the youth work i miss. not to mention, i will get to see you and jamie!!!!


Blogger Cari said ... (7:08 PM) : 

"I maintain my belief that reaching a lost community isn’t hard. The hard part is talking Christians into doing it."

It's like diet and weight loss. Either you see immediate results and get motivated, or you don't see results and figure it isn't working and quit, if you start at all.

Our churches today really have built country clubs. We wait for joiners who we think will make a worthy contribution whether it be thru tithe or time commitment, and we cater to them. Call it fear of being around people who are different or who don't seem to have much "church potential;" I think that we find it frightening to serve the needy; as if they will suck us dry if we let them in.

Cause we sure ain't goin' out there.



Blogger jsi said ... (4:03 AM) : 

May sounds like it has been a heavy burden for you. I am sorry about the loss you have encountered.
Your encouragement about an additional year of ministry came at a terrific time to help you see a wider realm and a deeper touch.
God is working through you in amazing ways. Continue to walk with Him through your days.


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