Both as a teacher and a practitioner of evangelism, I have emphasized the value of strategic and multiplicatory methods. This is in line with Christ’s call to “make disciples”. The goal is not just converts, though that is a wonderful result of our evangelism, but to make disciples who can, and will, put their shoulder to that same wheel of evangelism.
The idea of ‘loosing’ people in ministry has been a focus of Street Hope since the beginning. The goal has always been to win people to Jesus and see them involved in ministry. We pay particular emphasis on the ministry of kindness, that each individual can intentionally practice in their own lives. We certainly try and practice a ministry of hospitality and kindness, but our ministry would be far too shallow if that was all we did. We have seen people who were consumed with self become aware of the love of Christ and begin to show it to others. A great example of this was an incident on a city bus. One of our friends with a long criminal history was riding on the bus when people started picking on a woman. He intervened on her behalf and over time they became great friends. Both often attend our Sunday Evening House Church and are central to all our programs. We desire to see our ministry ripple out in this way so that it has an impact far beyond our small numbers.
It is this same philosophy of ministry that excites me about our new project “Threshold House”. The idea is to form a supportive discipling community for men who have discovered hope through recovery from addiction. We want to house 8 – 12 men at a time giving them a supportive launching pad into the next phase of their lives. We plan to equip these men who have discover hope to be ‘bringers of hope’ to others. In doing so we plan to unleash the viral power of wellness.
Up until Jesus association with sin and evil contaminated. This was why Pharisees went to such lengths to avoid contamination. But Jesus changed all that. People he touched did not contaminate him but rather they became well through his touch. “For if the many died by the trespass of the one man (Adam) how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!” (Romans 5:15) As we follow him the viral nature of ‘wellness’ is unleashed.
I like to use the word wellness because it pictures for me the problem and the solution. We were once isolated from God, our neighbour and indeed our true selves. This is illustrated by the word illness, but when I connect with God and others (and yes, my true self) the big “I” which is at the heart of sin, through reconciliation is changed to “We” as in wellness.
Our vision is to see these men firmly established in the wellness of Christ and through them and the next cohort, and the one after that, we will make an impact on the scourge of addiction that currently plagues our community.
We are a small ministry, but we believe we can have an out-sized impact through application of the viral power of wellness. For us this is a huge project which stretches our faith and the promise of Kingdom impact is great. Would you consider how you might join us? There will be many opportunities: for practical help, for intercessory prayer, and financial support.
Together we can unleash the viral power of wellness in Christ.