Action Group: The Fringe

I am constantly strategizing for the advancement of the Kingdom. Action Groups are a great way to involve the church in servicing the community.Image

There are two important groups in the church that we can introduce for their mutual benefit. We need to introduce those who want to serve Jesus with the fringe of the church. The fringe are the underclass. These may not fit well into the church and/or are new to Christianity.

In church we have share groups, classes, and Bible studies but Action Groups are rare if even existent. These have the purpose of strategizing, praying and working to help the community (if you think I have left out evangelizing…just hold your horses.).

Your group meets weekly to pray, encourage, share stories, and strategize. Each Sunday you will head hunt at church. It is fun to match action and prayer. You spread out in the church looking for the underclass: introduce yourself, sit by them in church and invite them home for lunch and the football game or whatever else you do. You can meet as a an Action Group with them after church. Sometimes this is even better than just taking them to your house. Do not make it formal! You will get to know them and their needs and start helping them (help them help themselves as much as possible.).

Through these people you will form up small groups that will do the same, eventually.

You can see the value of this! We need people to invest in. The church needs someone to help the new people and especially the ones who can’t integrate easily. These people are generally avoided by the sheepish herd at church. No worries, now they have you and your friends.

We need community. These people on the fringe will join the community through you. This is what they came for.

In addition, the fringe is more connected to the unreached of your community. If you integrate your life well with theirs, you will meet their world like a missionary to Peru or Afghanistan would. Needs will arise and you and your Action Group will step in and fill it. What a growth opportunity.

Ok….evangelism! When the fringe are integrated through this relationship they will come to Christ. This takes little work after caring for them in this way. Note that you are not mollycoddling but empowering them. It is evil to treat them as a victims and broken. Granted, it is harder to empower but if you want a co-laborer in Christ, challenge them, give them hope, help paint a vision for their future, and help them make it. Tell them when they are thinking wrong and point out what they can do. Help them make it. It is like you are coaching a boxer, you are in their corner so they can fight and win.

I have a co-laborer that started at the bottom. He lost his kids to CPS, lost his wife, had given up, and was living on the streets. He was receiving a check from Social Security (SSID) for his “mental” disability.

I empowered him. When he would explain his disability, I tell him that there was more to him than the label. He would get mad at me but he didn’t quit and neither did I. After 3 years, he had a welding degree and dropped SSID. Now, he is in the work force and co-labors with me. He is one of the best disciples of Christ that I know.

When head hunting you will be tempted to migrate toward people that are most like you: Avoid this! Go to the need, this is where the fruit is. Most middle class people have too much to lose to become real disciples. They are conserving the status quo: their family, job, summer vacations, and hobbies mean to much to them to be useful for Christ. There are exceptions (I am one) but this is a good rule of thumb. If they won’t join an Action Group, it is a good sign that they fit the standard mold.

My last admonition is the word “Yes!” Say “yes” to the needs! Have the attitude that says I will help and we will make a way! This is the actualization of faith, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!”

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