As our town moves nearer to Street Angels being a reality I was told of a conversation with a 'fellow Christian' (I'm sure you'll understand the inverted comma in a minute) regarding the opportunities it presented 'the Church' to get involved with those who are in town of an evening.
Their first response, having been told a bit about Street Angels, was, 'When do you convert them?' This was met with the observation, 'I don't think that we are there to convert or tell them about Jesus, but that, for that short time, we are there to be Jesus for them; to pick them up and help get them home safely.'
So they asked another question, 'What do you do the following night?' The response to which was, 'We pick them up again, and get them home, again!'
It was at this point that they declined to be involved on the grounds that what we were doing with Street Angels wasn't 'doing enough to grow the Kingdom' - And this is the reason why you will find in some churches see no real fruits because where they want scalps where Jesus wants servants.
The saddest thing is that many of those with attitudes like that displayed above are repositories of everything that is weird and off-putting to those outside and pretty distasteful to those within to as they live in their pathetic little 'holier than thou - avoid the unholy brethren' huddles! (Can you tell I'm frustrated? Problem is I've met it so many times with missioner hat on and yet I'm still shocked and frustrated as if it was the first time :-) )
So, for those of you in our area who have a servant heart for, and of, God - Street Angels is ready, willing and waiting for us to take up the challenge to minister God's grace (alongside those of no faith) because that is what Jesus would have us do. For in doing so we look, smell and act like Him.
We are not called to sit in our pathetic little huddles 'protecting ourselves from the world, the fallen and those whose theology and thinking we disagree with' - that's called being a cult!
(Yes, I am definitely niggled :-) )
Jesus calls us to be salt, light and balm to the world - to take up our cross and follow Him, denying our sensibilities to cross the road and minister (ever read the 'Good Samaritan'?) to those who are neither of our faith or our friends.
This is how we fulfil the calling we have - not by hunting scalps and sharing the Gospel without first sharing bread, showing love and making Christ real!