I have seen an encouraging increase in church’s dedication to helping the poor. Even evangelical churches are mostly beyond concerns of poverty relief as part of “the liberal agenda.” The teachings of Jesus on helping the poor are pretty clear.
But what does that look like? Is it about us in our comfortable and affluent neighbourhoods throwing scraps to the poor?
The book The Power of Proximity argues for a different perspective. Michelle Ferrigno Warren has put her beliefs in practice by moving into the same neighbourhood as the people she is seeking to minister to.
Warren argues that proximity is the key to really making a difference in people’s lives. This seems to be the model that Jesus gave.
This hits close to home. Literally. We have moved into a neighbourhood that we don’t really like and wish we could move from. We have actually been woken up by the sound of flash grenades as police made a drug bust near us.
We would prefer to be in a nicer neighbourhood. But what if this is the place we are supposed to be? What if proximity is more important than comfort?
Warren does a good job of challenging all of us as to how serious we are when it comes to ministry. I recommend you read The Power of Proximity.