The power of being with: Jesus model for ministry

Imagine you’re walking through a big city and you see a homeless person.

You have four options. The first is to say: we need to get people off the streets into housing, employment, and a profitable use of time. You may be energized to join the board of a night shelter or a day center assisting homeless people. You may be more direct and immediate and bring the homeless person in question a drink or a sandwich, an item of clothing, or a leaflet advertising various services. You may even be motivated to advocate for this person and others in similar circumstances by lobbying your political representative or organizing a meeting to address homelessness in the city.

The second option is to speak to the homeless person, to explore with them the reasons why they’re homeless, to ensure they know what options are available for them—the local drug and alcohol rehabilitation schemes, the places where free health care is available, the drop-in centers where there’s training and career advice, the places where there are art and singing and athletic groups to help build confidence and make connections. You may even offer to take them to these places.