This summer I’m riding with Ray once a week and serving with various ministries downtown that work with the poor and homeless. These are some of my reflections on what I see and learn.
The thing about a lot of the people I’ve met so far is that they are not big picture people. They see needs and they meet needs. They aren’t necessarily asking what’s broken with the system. That’s not a bad thing. If everyone was like me they’d be thinking about how to fix the world’s problems and never get around to actually doing it. At the same time though, all their energy could be directed toward broader community transformation and not just one-on-one ministry. They might have a bigger impact and help more people. But sometimes you also lose the one-on-one relationships that are so important.
The 25 or so ministries that Ray is connected to are a very loose network of ministries. They are all doing their own thing, but trying to also connect with each other for encouragement and to share needs. My instinct is to think they could be doing more if they were better organized. I’m not sure that’s true. The decentralized network allows each of the ministries the flexibility to make decisions and deal with situations. They are not a large bureaucratic beast that rolls through town and makes it in its own image. All of these people minister in obscurity.