Many are familiar with the scripture, found in Matthew 25, where the Son of Man is described as coming into his full glory, then proclaiming:
“Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?” And the king will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” (Matthew 25:34b-40, NRSV)
This scripture forms the basis for much of the mission work of Christian churches. We seek to help the poor and needy by giving them material things: food, water, clothing, housing, furniture, money.
The classic mission model many churches follow involves those who “have” helping those who “have not.” This blog, part of my D.Min. project, seeks to introduce a different model of mission for the members of Arlington Heights United Methodist Church. What if, instead of focusing on what people in need are lacking, our church learns to focus instead on what assets those people possess? What if, instead of giving handouts, we partner with those who have needs to leverage and expand the gifts they already have?
I invite you to sign up on the right side of the screen to follow this blog and join me on a 30-post journey to learn about an empowerment model of mission. If you are new to this blog, please read the previous posts in preparation for new blog posts. (I recommend yu start at the bottom and read them in chronological order.) The blog will conclude after 30 entries.
As you begin to read, I invite you to take a short survey, found here. I look forward to making this journey with you!