Evangelism, Homeless, Outreach, Prayer

What is happening on a Monday night?

As Christians we have been called to love and serve the poor. This isn’t the main point of this post but in brief:

  1. We have a mandate from the Bible (Proverbs 14:31, Galatians 2:10; If you want to know more on this read Tim Keller’s excellent book “Generous Justice”).
  2. As a Church we have been called to love the poor (Isaiah 61, Marco’s prophetic word).
  3. God calls us individually (you can read more about how God broke my heart for the poor here)

One of the ways we play out this at Jubilee is on a Monday night. For a few years now, several of us have been going into town to meet, chat with and pray for (and pray with!) homeless people. We tell them about Jesus and have seen four people make a commitment of faith in as many years (although we are only still in touch with three of them).

So, a night for the evangelists, right?

Wrong.

Well, half wrong. Of course it is a night for evangelists to go and live out the great commission on the streets of Coventry. However, it is not now, nor will it ever be a night exclusively for the evangelists. How do I know this? Well, because I would say that evangelism is not my primary gifting. In fact, I would say I am stronger prophetically, pastorally and as a teacher (it is my day job after all!) than I am in evangelism. I am also more excited about those things (if I am completely honest)!

So, what am I doing there? Well, there are several reasons. As well as the fact that God has called me to be there, it’s because I am pastoring people, teaching people about Jesus, and seeking to prophesy and see miracles on the streets!

A few years ago, I heard someone who was speaking on the pastoral gifting say:

“I used to think going out on the streets was for the evangelists, but now I see that we need our best pastors on the streets too.”

I completely agree. And here’s why. The people I have met on the streets have children they don’t see, partners who abuse them, addictions to drugs and alcohol, criminal records, no job and no access to benefits, have been raped, have witnessed and been involved in horrendous violence whilst having various mental and physical health problems, suffered abuse and violence from members of the public and have their self-worth slowly and utterly degraded day after day. If they don’t need some pastoral care, then I don’t know who does.

If we are expecting revival on the streets of Coventry, then we need to be ready as a church to pastorally care for some of the most broken people in our city. Do you have a pastoral gift and want to grow in it? Then Monday nights are for you.

And the same goes for our teachers and preachers. How are you planning on being able to explain the doctrine of justification and sanctification to a 3000 strong Jubilee church that has everyone in it from university professors to the uneducated, from the rich to the homeless, from the asylum seeker to the White British Cov boy? If you can sit on a cold bench in the centre of town and do a bible study with a Christian brother or sister who doesn’t have a home, you are traveling in the right direction. Do you want to grow as a teacher and preacher of the word? Monday nights are for you.

“My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.”    1Cor 2:4-5

The homeless community is also one that needs God to break in with power. We need to pursue spiritual gifts in our generation. We need to see God break in and miraculously heal Hepatitis B, set people free from heroin addictions and destroy depression in people’s lives. We want to have words of knowledge that open people up to hearing the gospel and prophetic words that cause hope to spring up in people’s hearts. We want to see families reconciled and we want people to experience the depths of peace and love that come from knowing Jesus Christ our Lord. Do you want that? Do you want to be part of that? Monday nights are for you.

As redeemed children of God, we need to let the Holy Spirit break our hearts for some of the most vulnerable people in our society. We need to be a people that sacrificially give ourselves to loving and serving them with whatever gifts God has given us. Do you want to use your giftings to love and serve the poor whilst making disciples? Monday nights are for you.

There are lots of ways to get involved in Monday Nights. The first and most obvious is to come along and spend time loving, encouraging and praying with some of the most vulnerable people in Coventry. Come and talk to me, Paul , or Stephan and Lizzi and we can give you more information.

The second is to pray. We meet on the first Monday of every month to pray for Monday nights and the people we meet. We also need people interceding for us as we go out. If God doesn’t move, we may as well stay at home with a hot chocolate and a comfy pair of slippers. But when God moves, there is no place I would rather be than on the streets with him. We need people to petition God to move on the streets on a Monday.

Finally, we need people to be praying for the Encounter camp, a week for people with life controlling issues such as addiction, which runs 2nd – 6th July. It is a week in which God breaks into the lives of person after person and transforms them with his love. Drug addictions are broken, forgiveness and love are received, and people are physically, spiritually and emotionally healed. We will hopefully be taking some people from a Monday night along again this year. Last year we saw someone we met on the streets give their life to Jesus! Let’s pray for more of that! Please also pray for the Paul’s family in the run up to and during the week. Hannah and the boys experience extreme spiritual opposition during the week, which has often taken the form of demonic nightmares. Let us pray for protection and peace for them while Paul is at Encounter.

Do you want to take God’s call to love the poor seriously? Do you want to be on the front lines when revival comes to Coventry? Do you want to see broken and desperate people encounter the love and mercy of Jesus and find healing in him?

Then Monday nights are for you.

 

Sam Myers

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