Kokomo Urban Outreach is a network of churches, organizations and individuals that have a heart for hometown missions. Our goal is to help churches think and act “Missionally“. The church that I led is moving in that direction. The church building is located in the midst of a large number of “under-resourced” families. Under-resourced families not only lack finances but also systems of support (family, church, community). Over the past couple of years I have learned a great deal about reaching out to the under-resourced and have seen a great transformation—–in me.
Outreach to the under-resourced is not simply doing my good deed for the day, nor does it exist to give me something to pat myself on the back about. It is not the impersonal distribution of my leftovers. It is about sharing Christ… His provisions…..love, compassion, kindness and warmth with the hurting, the broken, the hard living and rough edged. It is about being light and salt in places of darkness and hopelessness. It is about Kingdom living.
Outreach to the under-resourced is not reaching from our high position down to their low position. It is rather our reaching out as peers. It is about me coming to terms with my brokenness—reaching out to other broken individuals. It is about… dignity and respect… looking into the eyes of another human being… being real and building relationships…sharing my meals, my home and my life. It is about reconnecting the disconnected, as well as connecting with the disconnected.
Outreach to the under-resourced is about seeing people and the neighborhood through the eyes of Jesus. It is seeing more similarities than differences, yet dealing with the differences appropriately.
Outreach to the under-resourced is less about ethnicity or race, and more about geography and culture. It is about a culture of poverty. Not simply economic poverty, but a poverty of spirit and attitude.
Outreach to the under-resourced is not just teaching, but being taught. It is listening and learning—discovering the flaws in my culture as well as the honorable things in other cultures.
Outreach to the under-resource is not about the rich folks coming down to help the poor folks because they feel sorry for them. It is about building partnerships and cooperation. It is about working together for renewal—spiritual renewal, community renewal, family renewal, and personal renewal—-not just for them but for us.