An article in today’s Telegraph highlights the need for inner city mission: Girl, 13, who smokes drinks and has sex ‘rewarded’ by mother with cigarettes.
A 13-year-old girl who has had four sexual partners, smokes dope, drinks beer and has been excluded from school 40 times is considered “sweet” by her mother and given cigarettes as rewards for good behaviour.
The article raises the instinctive reaction “this is all wrong, someone needs to step in.” Who will do it? The media and chattering classes won’t. They will retreat behind security gates and CCTV systems and from a place of comfort point the finger and say “eeeewwwwweeeooo, that’s disgusting” (Romans 2); the well meaning left-wing council workers will see Tracy Holt and her miscreant daughter as a political project worthy of attention for the sake of some social statistic. I’ve noticed that most council employees don’t live in the areas they see as needy, but travel in to work. And so, Christians need to pile into the inner city, set up churches, live in the area, get to know and love people and take with them the redeeming and transforming word of Christ, who died for sin to free us from slavery to sin (Romans 10:13-17). We need to go not simply for the sake of Sam Holt, but for the glory of Christ, who will look beautiful when people get saved, accepted and sorted (Romans 15:7).
Here’s a post from Andy Mason on why we should pour our resources into planting (or strengthening?) churches in the inner city. The post is great because Andy challenges socially conservative evangelicals to get out of their narrow social bands and to do the hard work of reaching people not like us with the gospel of Christ.
More must hear the call to inner city part 1.