Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Murder and Urban Ministry

I've been thinking about the importance of urban ministry in a violent society for the last few days.

At the end of last week, a 16-year old boy was walking home from his bus stop when a car pulled up alongside him. After an exchange of a few words, someone in the car opened fire and murdered the kid.

According to news accounts of the incident, the murdered young man was a good student with a pleasant personality and respectful attitude. Unfortunately, he lived in a "bad part of town"--a euphemism for the poor, black, and violent section of the city.

On Sunday morning, a few of the teenagers in the Contact Church requested prayers for the murdered boy's family as they mourned his death. According to the prayer requests, the criminals who murdered the boy did so after he could not (or would not) tell them the location of someone else for whom they were looking.

As I have thought about the situation this week, I have come to have a deeper appreciation for the Contact Church. The urban poor need such churches. Like everyone else, they need safe people with whom they can share their struggles. They need to be able to get together in safe places and pray for the people they deeply love. They need the encouragement of gathering with and working alongside people who share their faith in Jesus Christ. They need people who will share the gospel of God's love with them so that, if they meet a violent end to their lives this week, they will be prepared for heaven.

During times like these, I feel honored to be a part of such a church.

5 comments:

reborn1995 said...

You're doing an amazing work that i admire, sir. i get frustrated with my white-middle-class-republican-suburbanite-cultured congregation sometimes when it seems people honestly think they're in the right for avoiding the "bad part of town" altogether. i can't help but think that "bad parts of town" is exactly where Jesus would spend His time.

Terry said...

Thanks, Reborn. I'm a little embarrassed since I'm also white, Republican, and suburbanite cultured.:)

But I am in a church filled with heroes who look at problems and try to help rather than avoid them. They have been a positive influence on me for several years. Hopefully, I'm a better person because of the people around me. I appreciate your kind words.

reborn1995 said...

Terry,

i don't think there's anything intrinsically wrong with being white or republican or suburban or middle-classed. But there certainly can be something instrumentally wrong with those things if and when they hinder us from being Christian. But it certainly sounds like nothing of the sort is standing in the way of the work you're engaged in!

--Guy

jackie chesnutt said...

Terry, the Contact Church family is such a blessing - God is using you all to touch many lives.

Terry said...

Thanks Guy and Jackie!