Random thoughts on Life, Leadership, & Messy Spirituality

We’re Just Ticking Off Everybody!

ImageWe have been catching A LOT of Flak from people for our Benefit Concert to Build an Orphanage in Haiti. Surprised? I’m not. I knew this would be the case when we began kicking this idea around last summer.

I have been catching flak about how we do ministry for years now. When you go outside the traditional church box – religious people tend to lose their minds. Churches get upset that we reach drug addicts, alcoholics, divorcees, people with baggage from their past, etc. We call it “Church for people who don’t ‘do’ church!” We accept & embrace everyone regardless of their past or condition of their lives today. In addition to accepting them when they come to us, we also go to where they are – & a lot of religious people can’t handle that.

So, we have churches bashing us for teaming up with Electric Cowboy, a country night club, to do our benefit concert. I had a pastor this past week tell me that I was “leading people astray” & that I was leading people into “a den of sinners “. REALLY? #1 – The people who run Electric Cowboy are some genuinely good & decent people. #2 – A lot of the people who go there are good people. #3 – I like country music & country dancing – deal with it!

So, I told this pastor & other “christians” & churches who have complained what I just stated above & that I have a feeling that if Jesus were still here in person that He would be a the club with us – going to where people are – not waiting until they come to us.

I’ve also had a few people from our community complain about the concert as well. I had someone recognize me at a local store & ask why would we want to build an orphanage for “those people” instead of helping “our own”? I don’t know if he meant it as a black/white thing or as a American/Non-American thing – but it took everything I had not to knock this guy out!

I told him – if you had any idea of the number of kids, people & families we help in our local community – you might not ask me that question. If you could ever see firsthand the conditions that millions of Haitian people live in, or all of the orphan street kids scrounging through trash piles trying to find food – you definitely would not ask me that question. Until you have any idea of what the heck you’re talking about, you might want to keep your mouth shut. I then handed him an invite card to our church & walked away. BTW: Since when does helping people have to be an either/or proposition?

While I/we are catching a lot of flak – we are also blowing a lot of people’s minds. A LOT of people have told us how cool it is that a church is working with a nightclub to help orphan children in Haiti. Most of these people probably would not come to church yet – but they are pretty excited about coming to our event.

I think that’s what Jesus & the apostle Paul modeled for us: Go to where people are, find common ground with them, & then reach out to them with the hope of Jesus.

BTW: We could use your help to pack out Electric Cowboy to buy land & get this orphanage built. Tell everyone you know & you can get tickets at the door or online @ http://serve-the-world.org


9 responses

  1. Craig Lee

    Keep doing what u r doing. If nobody gets upset you probably aren’t doing anything.

    January 15, 2013 at 4:58 pm

  2. Sgt. V

    By the way, it was a ‘secular’ relief agence (Jenkins-Penn) who got us out of Haiti after our first relief trip after the earthquake when our airline cancelled all flights. Should we have just stayed in Haiti because it was a liberal/secular organization wanting to help? What a double standard. Most of us work for businesses that are lead by non Christ followers. Yet I’ve never heard of anyone refusing their paycheck on those grounds.

    January 15, 2013 at 5:00 pm

  3. Cherie L'Archevesque Nelson

    Amen to that! How sad for those people who are so insulated and small minded that they are unable to accept that we are commanded to love our brother..I don’t recall that being conditional??!!

    January 15, 2013 at 5:02 pm

  4. Go God – Go Howard!!!

    January 15, 2013 at 5:03 pm

  5. Craig Brooks

    God Centered or self centered? god minded or small minded? Ministry that receives flak is ministry going in the right direction. If you cater to the self centered, you will fail in doing God’s will. Keep going kickin’ and scraemin’!

    January 15, 2013 at 6:14 pm

  6. Tim

    Your pastor friend needs to re read Matthew 5:48, we are all sinners!

    January 15, 2013 at 7:15 pm

  7. I’m still loving the inescapable logic in the question of “How does helping people become an either/ or proposition?” I’d love to hear anyone try to explain this one away…especially in the context of building an orphanage.

    January 15, 2013 at 8:40 pm

  8. James Taubin

    Father God please deliver the church from the spirit of religion. In Jesus name! Amen. Jesus said to take care of widows and orphans; he didn’t say how.

    January 15, 2013 at 10:53 pm

  9. Pingback: T-Minus 5 Days – LET’S DO THIS!!! «

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