jonathan stone's blog

. . . posts on faith and life

ah crap! i’ve got Crack in my eye!

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?

2 comments on “ah crap! i’ve got Crack in my eye!

  1. Travelin' On
    March 14, 2008

    OK Jon, When I read your title today I said to myself, “YEP, it’s fer sure…., his therapist MUST be out of town or something.” LOL
    Interesting post. I remember spending Mother’s day 2006 right there in San Fransisco’s Hot Dog Church! Aaron took us. It was an awesome experience. They are doing a ministry that many others would simply shun, but yet, it is vital. We THINK we are serving the “fringes” of society in our churches. I thought so too…that is until I started working in community mental health.
    While I realize that in the churches I have attended, they did feel that they were welcoming and service oriented etc. etc…..most of these clients in the mental health community that I have since met, would probably not feel welcome or served in most of our local churches.
    It FEELS like many churches have simply become a place to gather “like peoples” and sing, shout, and be glad together. (I know, I know, that’s extreme but you know what I mean….
    There’s so much mission work in our community. There’s so much more to church than the church building, (structure and function).
    I’m not suggesting that I have it all figured out but I am glad that I have had an opportunity to meet real folks and hear real needs and learn from others.
    There are many people in our community that are doing DAILY church work and DAILY ministry but noone will ever know because it is not about a denomination or a church building nor is it happening inside one. It is simply about sharing Christ and giving, “such as I have.” (See Corky A’s post titled “14-Hour day” for example.)

  2. Big D\'Art
    March 15, 2008

    Dawn is a superstar. We took a group of students out to San Francisco last summer and she rocked. Just the other night my family got to have dinner with her. I look forward to see what God is going to do in her life. Crack in the eye and all!


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This entry was posted on March 14, 2008 by in faith, missional.
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