My friend Mark Horvath asks, “What would Jesus do to end youth homelessness?”
Meet Doyle Robinson, the founder of Sox Place, a drop in center near downtown Denver. Doyle is a former youth pastor who started to hand out socks to homeless youth. Of course, Doyle is faith based and loves God. Having worked for a church he knows the bible, yet he was just building relationships with the simple act of handing a homeless youth some “freshies”. He wasn’t asking the kids to say a prayer or for anything from them in return. He was just loving on the kids the best way he knew how – giving out socks!
That simple act of intentional kindness grew into a drop in center for street youth that now provides meals, clothes, crisis intervention, and referral services. When you walk into Sox Place, you won’t see a bible anywhere, unless one of the kids brings it out. See, the reason Sox Place exists is to provide real love to kids who have been at war with love. As Doyle says in this video, everything that we talk about being love – family – church – school – has been bad to them. Yes, homeless youth face serious problems every day, but the real problem is what happened to them ‘back then’ – when they were beaten – abused – neglected – and situations that are unthinkable.
Horvath suggests that the simple act of loving others without judgment would go a long way in not only ending homelessness – but make a real change in people’s perception of church.
Heck, imagine if church was a place where we could all just go as we truly are – to be loved on without judgment! I’d even start going to church again!!!
Who orchestrated the multiplication/groups/location/spread of homechurches in the world of Paul (Acts 16:6-34)….Paulwould probably not have chosen Lydia’s home or the Jailer’s…he wanted to go Asia instead!
Who taught church multiplication in the home of Prisca & Aquila (Rom. 16:3-5)…they probably never even considered the idea…they were just living a contagious Christ-life and persons carried that with them wherever life (God) moved them.
Who teaches/strategizes church planting today….ummm…more than a little “manna manufactiring” going on…with the best of motives and man-sized fruit. I have failed too much to race ahead with my good plans for planting churches.
The book of Acts paints a portrait of a rapidly reproducing and rapidly advancing movementof God that was naturally spontaneous. It is evident in reading Acts “that after Pentecost everything that happened was by the impulse of the spirit.” (Roland Allen, The Spontaneous Expansion of the Church)
There must be a move from today’s focus and dependence on man-centered methodologies and strategies to a renewed Biblical practice of the Spirit’s guidance and empowerment in all that we say or do…(Kenny Moore, workshop)
Clearly true for me. I’m going back to blind dependence on HIM…I just have no confidence in my insights anymore.
Many ask, “What do you do with the kids at a simple church gathering of Christ-followers and their friends”?
I always say, “Enjoy them”! This picture is a good example of kids being involved in the life of the church. You might be surprised at what they say during Bible dialogue, or how they pray openly with adults.
They see what real worship, brokenness, caring, and community looks like in their parents and others….and they are allowed to be part of all those things….they aren’t just taught, they are included in the journey and given as much “ownership” as their faith and maturity allow!