The way of Jesus is the way of friendship and relationship. He made becoming friends with marginalized people a focus of his life and ministry. Viewing mission through the lens of friendship is a humble thought with big implications. At the heart of it is shared humility, respect, and appreciation for others.
We are called to follow Jesus and to join in his mission. He made our ministry very concrete and personal when he said in Matthew 25 that feeding, clothing, sheltering, or visiting a person in need is the same as caring for Jesus. Mission means building bonds with people, extending not only a lending hand but a loving heart to those the world would deem unlovable and unwanted.
To love like Jesus loved can remain pretty abstract until we ask questions like these --
- "What does real friendship and mutual service mean between those who have their needs met and those who are struggling to survive?"
- "How can we get ourselves into places where we can practice being responsive?"
- "How can our worlds become mutually accessible?"
- "What would our ministry look like if friendship and the building of hospitality among the marginalized were at the center?"
- "How would we think differently about or measure "success" of our ministry?
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Ray Schulte, Naperville, IL 630-272-9336
Dale Ziemer, Palatine, IL 847-971-3447