Getting Our Hands Dirty with Humanity

Salvation is not an escape from obedience, but rather it emphasises obedience, as well as sacrificial devotion and service. This idea of salvation without obedience was born out of pagan rebellion.[1]

Jesus’ ministry meant getting His hands dirty with people, for over three years. This was a challenging assignment for the Son of God. He was assigned to be with people, and it was people who later took His life.

A successful Church has to be mixing to people in the community. Yes, the gospel involves words, but it also involves the actions of godly people. Words without actions are empty. When barriers get between the Church and locals for whatever reason, it quickly becomes ineffective.

Every Church needs forms of community interaction to be effective; we’ve all got to be getting our hands dirty with people-that’s a vital aspect of Christian ministry.

There are innumerable ways to do this of course, but it’s amazing how food can bring people together, because we all need it.

My church has an activity each Thursday lunch-time, called “King’s Table.” We provide a 3-course meal to anyone who turns up, for free. We generally get 20-40 people who come for a meal, and of course we make sure they hear the gospel too. Most of the food we get very cheaply, and our own folks do the cooking.

I’ve gone along many times to help in the kitchen with doing dishes and serving meals to people. Of course, there is a lot of work to do in preparation. Sometimes, I’ve been the person responsible to give a 3 minute gospel message when preparing to say grace. I pull no punches, but give it to them straight and hard (but hopefully with love), stressing the fact that we are all sinners, and the necessity for repentance towards God.

I think the gospel message is an essential component, and people don’t mind; if they did, too bad. Food gets them in the front door; it’s the bait on the hook, but the gospel message puts the whole thing in its proper perspective.

Who do we get? All sorts. Lots of poor people, a number of folk who are mentally deficient, along with people who just don’t mind a free feed. If they wish, they can contribute to the costs, which helps a bit.

What is your church doing? We don’t want to go to heaven like some bunch of narcissists, with clean, unstained, manicured hands. Our lives should be affected by people and their problems, because we want to help people. The vision of the gospel is not pie in the sky when you die, but the total transformation of society and nations through the transformation of individuals and families, by the Holy Spirit, through His Word.

Pure hearts yes, but manicured hands, unstained by people? I don’t think so. What do the Saviour’s hands look like today? Go and do thou likewise.

 

 



[1] Paul Michael Raymond, “Tyranny, Independence, or Liberty Under God,” in “Faith for all of Life,” September/October 2011, p.18.

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