Blogs are a rich source of thought-provoking comments and articles. The following was taken from a blog written by Steve Casey, using abridged content from Pete Jackson: www.reachingtheunreached.org.uk/category/fuel/
…Something strange has happened in conservative evangelical circles in recent decades. It seems that a strategy for gospel ministry has developed that goes something like this: Let’s reach the brightest and most influential people in society, because if we reach them we’ll reach the nation. And so there has been a concerted focus for the evangelisation of our nation on university cities and towns (but mainly the bits of those cities and towns where the predominantly middle-class students and graduates live). To our shame the working class and, for want of a better term, the ‘benefit-dependent underclass’, have by and large, been ignored by our constituency.
But it seems that God’s strategy is very different to the way we have played things. A quick look at how Scripture reveals that how God has operated in redemption history should give us confidence to take the gospel to the council estates and the high-rise flats and the visibly broken communities – as well as the other places!...
Through the gospel and for his glory, God chooses the places and people that we would never choose
…Over and over again we see God choosing and using individuals that the world would never have chosen… Abel not Cain; Isaac not Ishmael; Jacob not Esau; Rahab (the prostitute); Ruth (the Moabitess); Gideon (least in his family and from the smallest tribe); Nineveh (a place with a human-rights record worse than China and North Korea put together); and David (the shepherd boy with seven brothers all of whom, in worldly terms, were far more impressive than he)…
James 2:5 ‘Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised to those who love him.’
Yes he has – because that way, no one will boast before him. And he will receive all the glory. God uses the lowly to shame the wise. That’s the way God operates… and so it should drive us to the places we have avoided, and cause us to sit a bit more loosely to the humanly ‘strategic’ places. The council estates of Britain are great places to be doing gospel ministry!!! Interestingly in James 1:18, James tells us that it is through the word of truth that God chose to give us birth. God chooses and draws people to himself, as the word of the gospel goes out (it’s the gospel that brings people to new birth). So we must have confidence to preach God’s word in the so-called ‘hard to reach’ places.
Through the gospel and for his glory, God transforms the places and people we would never choose
It is true that we are not social workers, we are gospel workers, but it seems to me that the gospel directly addresses the social needs of our communities – of all communities – but it becomes so obvious amongst the ‘urban poor’.
…May we have confidence to take the gospel to the ‘hard’ places of Britain! The truth is they are not that hard… in fact middleclass places where people’s lives appear to be sorted and respectable are much, much harder! People think they’re okay, and that they don’t need God. But when the wheels are coming off (as they very obviously are in some communities), there are lots of opportunities for the gospel, and often openness to find out – and the change that comes to those who turn to Christ is incredible…