Teaching Us to Cross the Street

“We aren’t all called to be school crossing guards and tell people where to cross the street. We’re all supposed to cross the street.” Pastor Kevin Brown~

What if we in our churches learned our own strengths and each other’s strengths and supported each other in ministry using those areas where we already succeed? What if, instead of asking people to volunteer at church, we looked at their skills, their gifts, and helped them find ways to help others using those skills and gifts?

What if we stopped seeing our churches as places we go to participate in programs and started to see them as places we go to organize, to educate, to prepare–to teach, to train, and to release people into our communities?

Kevin Brown pastors The Perfecting Church in New Jersey. As part of a One Day Kingdom Intensive, he presents this example:

The nearby Bible Society offered training for trauma counseling certification. There was a great need to counsel people arriving from Rwanda who had suffered great trauma.

But it isn’t only people from Rwanda who suffer the ill effects of trauma. Trauma happens in our own communities–probably much more than we realize.

Imagine seeing trauma around you, knowing it’s there, and feeling helpless to comfort those who are hurting.

Having been certified by the Bible Society training, members of Kevin’s church now lead three groups in their community helping people deal with trauma. These groups formed within the community, not within the church.

Kevin invites us to take what we know and can do and then lift Christ up in the part of the world where he calls us to work.

Jesus said, “And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.” John 12:32~

For too long, I sat in a pew and waited for the world to come to church.

When we only look at the world through church windows, we only see the darkness that’s out there. But people are out there in that darkness.

We defeat ourselves when we focus only on the darkness–only on how bad things are. We feel helpless when we perceive that our tiny glow of light cannot pierce the immense darkness in which we swim daily.

Kevin’s teachings remind us that Christ in us is bright. We can make a difference. That difference comes as we take His light outside to our neighborhoods and communities–even to hostile communities around the world.

This is our task: We can lift Jesus up in our communities in a way programs just don’t. We can find out how to help others with what God has already put into us. We can help those within our own neighborhoods and cities. We can change lives in other places–places where it’s hard to speak of Christ.

Our first step is to cross the street.

It’s dark on the other side of the street.

It’s up to us to go into the darkness and spread the light.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Nancy E. Head’s Restoring the Shattered is out in paperback! Get your copy here!

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20 Replies to “ Teaching Us to Cross the Street”

  1. Such an inspiring article! Thank you for sharing, Nancy. Sometimes we get so busy doing things, we don’t pause long enough to ask ourselves, what are some things that people really need us to do? May we be ever listening for God’s promptings to go where He sends us.

  2. Yes. God designed us with intention. We need to use our gifts and skills to serve others, including those outside the church. And the church needs to train. It’s good to hear some are doing just that.

  3. I love the ideas of this church as it becomes more equipping for its members. We should be using our skills to be the hands and feet of God to our neighbors across the street.

  4. Great insight by Pastor Brown. Sometimes we forget to get outside the walls of our local church and be Jesus with skin to those near us.

    It reminded me of something I wrote. “For some of us, missions isn’t about crossing the ocean. God is calling us to walk across the street and minister to our neighbor and tell them about Jesus. He’s calling us to our Jerusalem…right where we are right now to be Jesus with skin to everyone we come in contact with. “

    1. You’re so right, Karen. Sometimes we get so caught up in the programs at church or our jobs or whatever is demanding our attention, we forget to look around. Thanks and God bless!

  5. Great post! Imagine where the world would be if we all shared our God-given talents and strengths in our communities. We have to remember that church goes beyond the building.

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