I am currently reading a book by Andrew Mann called ‘Upside-Down Joy: An inverted look at sin, sickness, struggles and death’. In this book there are some chapters that discuss the word “perspective”. Perspective is the position from which we see something. Andrew then goes on to explain three components that influence our perspective: context (the environment that surrounds us), time, and relationships. I can’t imagine doing ministry without perspective. I can’t imagine Jesus’ ministry without perspective. Jesus was able to see things in ways that no one else could. Mainly because he was able to see life with an eternal perspective. I believe that is how He expects us to live also.
As we began 2016 getting back into the swing of weekly bible clubs and seeing our amazing volunteers, children and youth again, God has revealed to me how perspective in ministry is a necessary tool. I don’t help with all of our clubs, but at the ones I do help with, I have witnessed the unruly child, the angry child, the rebellious child, the sad child. I have already broken up fights, tried to help with disagreements, name calling, bullying and tried to console hurt feelings and feelings of rejection. All while playing jump rope, tossing balls, teaching a bible lesson, and making home visits. This is a part of House of Faith. This is why we are here. To share God’s love to those who need it.
I often hear children and youth tell me they have been kicked out of church, suspended from school or kicked off the bus because of their behavior. It is a consequence of their actions, but it also gives them a feeling of rejection. But to me, this is where perspective is needed the most. To truly understand why they are doing what they are doing requires context, time and a relationship. Let’s get real, often they don’t even understand or want to admit why they behave the way they do because that would mean they need to open up the hurts that run so deep. But as we spend time with them, getting to know them on their own turf, in their own backyard we begin to see with God’s eyes. We as Christians want to live with eternal perspective, but for our children and youth just seeing past next week is often difficult. Through our home visits, we already learned of several parents who split up over the holidays and the passing of a dear relative. Through taking the time to listen to a youth without interrupting them, we heard their fear of the unknown future while being removed from their home because of drugs.
Our job is not to fix these things. Our job is to love on them, to walk with them, to gain perspective into their lives, to try and understand and possibly change the way we think about them. But then we are called to try and help them look to God to help them with their struggles, their own sin and to show them that God is the author of their lives. They don’t get to choose the road or the situation they are facing right now, but they can choose how to walk it and we can choose to walk it with them.
Perspective brings compassion. Everywhere Jesus went, He showed compassion. He was able to do so because he had an eternal perspective. Please join us in this journey of helping our children, youth and families find Jesus’ love and hope in their struggles and to find His Story in their lives. You can do this through your prayers, your time (volunteering) and your financial support (helping others build the relationships).