In January of this year a group of 6 determined The Mission should pursue beginning a tutoring program in the Gunter Independent School District. Never in a million years would I have forecasted the eternal change this program has made on my heart.
The students we tutor come from different backgrounds. It's been fun watching them interact with other adults and I am amazed at their politeness. They are either really putting on a show...or they are genuinely behaving their best!
The volunteers for the Mission Minds program have been awesome. We have 3 teenagers and 9 adults who have been faithful to work with these kids each week. The great thing about having such a great group of volunteers is that I actually see the kids bonding with their tutor. In fact, just last week I heard about a couple of the girls telling one of the tutors they wished the program would go on until the end of the year! Wow....who would have ever thought we would be hearing that from a student.
I've eyewitnessed hugs initiated by kids. I've overheard wonderful words of affirmation from tutors to students and mostly I've seen Jesus in action. No, we aren't preaching a sermon, or opening our Bibles, but we are loving, sharing, affirming, building up and teaching. And along the way, maybe...just maybe, someone will ask a question, build a relationship or wonder what's different.
This program has really got me thinking a lot about the "church"- and I don't mean the one you might attend. I'm talking about the body of believers. So often we expect lost, hurting or unchurched people to find their way to us...and maybe instead we need to be finding our way to them. Just a thought I am chewing on right now. I'm not sure the church has been as affective reaching out as we could be and I'm wondering if it's not because we have always had an alterior motive...that in reaching out...they will come in to our church. Maybe our goal should really be that in reaching out...we leave the comfort of our churches and go into the streets, neighborhoods and schools and just act like Jesus. Wonder what would happen then?
Life I said, I don't have all this sorted out in my head or heart yet. All I know, is the more I work out in the community the more my heart cries for more strategic ways of reaching others with the sweet message of Christ.