Mez McConnell has a really refreshing and encouraging post on why kindness shown in various social projects is not what the inner city, UPA, estate needs. Here’s some choice quotes from his post.
In my opinion, most inner city housing schemes do not need crisis intervention and rehabilitation programmes, rather they need deep, spiritual renewal and even deeper thought on biblical, ethical developmental approaches in terms of community regeneration. We need to be planting churches…
..many churches are still looking on with what I call a ‘crisis mindset’. They are not thinking past the needy people in front of them. I saw it in Brazil with street children. Many well-intentioned Christians would come out to work with the children and immediately begin spending thousands and thousands of pounds building recuperation homes and various other projects. Whilst they met an immediate and grave need, they didn’t actually try to deal with the root of the problem.
Churches (and Christians in general) need to be careful that we are not suffering from ‘soup kitchen syndrome’. This is where we react to the needs of those around us and immediately begin operating a ‘handout’ system of help.
We need help in developing our training and material. We need help in manpower and servant heartedness. We don’t need a volunteer pitching up at our kids club for an hour a week. We need them in the community full-time involved in the grind of people’s lives.
Brilliant. He’s not saying don’t do the kids club. He’s sayng don’t just do the kids club. Live and share in the life of the area the church serves.