I have attended two meetings with Christian churches of Ward 8 that have discussed initiatives to help our community, especially in relation to stemming the violence. I would like us as a parish to think and pray about what we are called to do now and in the future to help our neighborhood.
Here are some ideas from focusonthefamily.com to consider.
–Sincerely in Christ,
Full link: http://jimdaly.focusonthefamily.com/three-practical-ways-the-church-can-help-inner-cities/
Growing up in (Compton, California) is anything but easy. Drive-by shootings, crime, poverty, and vice were a way of life. Little boys grow up without male role models and girls are vulnerable to all sorts of dangers. My heart is tender to their plight because… that was me. And while many families in Compton are working toward a better city – and I applaud their efforts – trouble remains. I believe we’re called to do what we can to help…
Today we are…focusing on what the church can do to help. The six men I talk to – Bob Woodson, Pastor Darryl Webster, Kurt Moore, James Miller, Tyrone Miller and Robert Bigsbee – can all attest to the life-changing power of a personal encounter with Christ. Their faith compelled them to go deeper into the inner city to bring hope and model the faith. In today’s broadcast (“Changing Lives in the Inner City”) we share practical ways churches can help bring life and truth to the inner city. I’ll briefly share three of the points we discussed:
REACH THE MEN
Fatherlessness is a root cause of many of the ills plaguing the inner city, so we have to reach the men. The Church needs to teach them biblical principles. Help them be accountable. Programs like Pastor Darryl’s “Boot Camp” helps get men off the streets through a combination of spiritual instruction and practical help, like teaching job skills.
UNLEASH THE GOSPEL
Jesus didn’t send His followers out to create “self-help” groups. “Education is not the salvation of man,” says Darryl. “Education informs us. Prison reforms. But the Gospel transforms.” The Church needs to recognize the power of the Gospel and the blood of Jesus Christ to reach into the darkest pit and save the lost.
HELP RESIDENTS OF THE INNER CITY FIND JOBS
Heart-change alone won’t help pay the bills. That’s why supporting groups like Bob Woodson’s “Center for Neighborhood Enterprise” is so important. The CNE helps community and faith-based organizations with training and technical assistance. It links them with sources of support. Churches would be wise to support groups like Bob’s and provide the practical help families need to overcome the daily obstacles that threaten their success.