. . . posts on faith and life
Have you ever uttered those words when leaving church? If so, you are definitely freakishly missional. And yes, the quote comes from a true story. Dawn Dunbar, urban missionary, and recent addition to the blogroll hilariously recounts the story here.
After I graduated from college I spent six months with Steve Wright and the Hotdog Church in San Francisco. Pastor Steve, as the hundreds of regular attendees affectionately called him, spent 12 years in San Francisdo building a church of homeless persons. That’s right. Not a church that ministered to homeless persons, but a church OF homeless persons. He did it right downtown in one of America’s most expensive cities, which also boasts America’s largest homeless population. How did he do that?
Urban missionaries like Dawn, Steve, and Dennis Adams (currently pastoring a church among the large transient population in Santa Cruz, CA) have ministered “outside the gates,” where there is little recognition, no funding, and unbelievable costs. They are part of a growing trend of missional disciples who are determined to minister in the hardest of circumstances. In order to do this they have decided to move away from the attractional mode of ministry so dominant in the late 20th century and embraced the incarnational ministry modeled by Jesus in the 1st century.
This type of ministry, with little or no membership and tithe numbers to boast about, rarely gets highlighted by institutions. In the rare occasion that an incarnational ministry of this type is highlighted it feels a bit like getting used–“See, our institution does good stuff for hurting people.” I’m not sure how they make it. It must be the Lord. Do you want to know if you have a missional heart? If so, just ask yourself this question: Am I ready to get some Crack in my eye–and never get appreciated for it?