Wednesday, January 15, 2014

tragedy of unmet needs

Titus 3:14  NLT
Our people must learn to do good by meeting the urgent needs of others; then they will not be unproductive.

Often I meet people in our community that have huge needs.  My heart goes out to them, and my heart aches that we can do very little for them.  There are all kinds of reasons why these needs go unmet.

One reason is that there are not enough resources to meet the need.  Another reason for unmet needs is that we don’t have what the person needs such as enough work or a homeless shelter.  A reason that gets me and makes me ask lots of questions are the ones who don’t want help.  I’ve met several of those people. 

That last category of people come in many different stages of life.  It may be the young adult who has chosen not to let go of addiction.  It could be the older man or women who has too much pride to let others help them.  Maybe it is even the fact that people are skeptical of those who want to help.  I am sure there are other reasons, but again it makes my heart hurt when needs go unmet.

Several years ago God laid on my heart the huge need of our region to have an ongoing shelter for men and for families.  About three years ago we met a family of six people.  Mom and the four kids were in the women’s shelter while dad was staying in his vehicle moving it from place to place.  We were able to help this family find a home, but they continue to struggle.

What continues to tug at my heart is the fact that one church or one organization cannot meet all these needs on our own.  In fact we are weak on our own.  It is not until we form partnerships and begin to work together that unmet needs begin to be met.  How are these needs going to be met?

The beginning is for people to see needs.  The next step is doing something about the need that is seen.  It is incredible to meet new people in our community that have a heart to serve the people who live around us.

Last week as we opened the emergency winter shelter I was able to meet several new friends from churches and organizations in our city and county.  Their hearts are similar to mine.  They ache for hurting people.  They are willing to join forces to meet needs.  That is a big deal.  That is something to get excited about.

Yet there are some obstacles that have to be overcome so we can partner and meet unmet needs.  It is time to stop worrying about ownership of the project and start doing something about it.  Someone has to lead.  Resources have to be shared.

From my perspective and so many others we are baffled when people don’t accept help, yet the only thing that will change that is relationships.  Remember, people don’t care how much you know until they know how much they care.  As Matthew Barnett said, “whoever shows up most in someone’s life wins the battle of influence.”

My desire is to show up and build relationships.  As people begin to trust me and our ministry we will be able to influence them for Christ.  That’s my desire above all else.

The reason for the tragedy of unmet needs is we often aren’t willing stick around long enough to win the right to speak in to people’s lives.  Join me.  Join our church and Dream Center.  Partner with a church in your community, and begin to meet unmet needs.

For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.

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