Called to do street ministry?
Desire to reach co-workers who are not only non-believers but who don’t respect the ministry of Jesus?
Find yourself asking W.W.J.D. and then trying to D.W.J.D (do what Jesus did) regardless of the cost?
Struggling with judgmental Church members ?
As you make yourself willing and available to help and minister to the needs of others BE CAREFUL.
Here are some wise words from Christ, the same words He gave as He sent out his 12 disciples:
Matthew 10:16 KJV
“Behold , I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.”
The Message Translation:
16 “Stay alert. This is hazardous work I’m assigning you. You’re going to be like sheep running through a wolf pack, so don’t call attention to yourselves. Be as cunning as a snake, inoffensive as a dove.
16 I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.
You can stop here…enough said, but if you want to go further…
We do need to “go for souls and go for the worst” as the founder of The Salvation Army, William Booth, said. However, don’t set yourself up for a fall. Don’t put yourself into a situation that would soil or leave a stain on your original intention, to serve and minister to someone. Watch that you don’t get caught in the middle of something.
What inspired me to write this was a story by a friend who was almost robbed while trying to help someone. I’ve also seen friends nearly shot while doing ministry, some because mistaken identity, others because caught in a literal cross fire going on around them.
Personally, I remember doing street ministry in down town Atlanta, GA and even in some of the small neighborhood that were inner city. One time as two of us were speaking to a prostitute she surprised us by asking us if we had any money on us. This wasn’t a surprise because it was coming from a call girl looking for money. It surprised us because we were talking to her about the Lord and she was responding to what we were saying. When I clarified, “you know we are not here to give you money, especially in exchange for sexual favors.” She said, “that is not why i asked.” She clarified even more by saying, ” I asked because if Atalanta’s finest (the po po or police officers) were to come up to us and we had money on us, as little as $10 we would all would be suspect to going to jail!” The appearance of evil and appearance of intent could end with not only jail but even worse, being shot or possibly even caught in the cross fire. The wrong place at the wrong time. Her pimp did not like us talking to her. If she got converted, think of what that would do to his business.
I don’t say this to discourage anyone, we have to be in those “wrong” places sometime because that is where the sick are.
Jesus came for that same reason (Mt. 9:12; John 4)
So, remember what Jesus told His 12 and take His word as a guide also.