In our pursuit of fulfilling the great commission we often struggle with how to connect and involve ourselves in others lives. As we seek ways to turn our daily contacts into evangelistic opportunities we can learn from a variety of experiences how to achieve this more effectively. In my years as a mental health professional I’ve learned that most trust and rapport is built with another individual during times of crisis.
Making a point to be there for someone during that crisis, going out of your way, and giving them extra care could have eternal benefits. Many people are in crisis in every community all around us all the time. I want to examine a few ways we can connect or intersect with these “crisis” situations more frequently in a way that would honor God and further our evangelistic efforts.
I have a special place in my heart for victims of domestic violence and child abuse. I’ve been very affected by some of these cases. Intersecting our lives with these individuals are often tremendous light in the darkness opportunities. Violence against women and children is certainly an epidemic. Shelters and protective services to aid these victims are extremely valuable and needed. Our Christian ministries and churches should be very involved! What a way to contribute to the needs of hurting people in real crisis!
How wide spread is this issue? 1 in 3 of all girls and 1 in 6 boys in the US are sexually abused. As many as 50 percent of all children have been abused or neglected. Domestic Violence is rampant. Every community is affected as our nations moral fiber continues to fall apart. Many people I’ve spoke too have a hard time believe those numbers and stats are accurate. After working in mental health, I believe the numbers are conservative. So opportunity exists to connect a huge segment of our nations population that is hurting.
Someone once said they had a prayer to “die or escape”. Many of these victims are already praying for help! The relief on their faces knowing its possible to escape or find sleep in relative safety is precious. The next questions is what do we do next?
How should we respond to these crisis situations and this issue? How can we intersect there lives?
- Deuteronomy 15:11 …..Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’
- James 1:27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction….
- Psalm 103:6 The Lord works righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed.
We should respond to this social issue with love, compassion, education, support, helpful action, and with the gospel. An example might be a biblical church partnering with or running a domestic violence shelter. What an amazing ministry opportunity in America! We in the church often fail to connect with or even realize many of these people exist.
As Christians we should take up the cause of those who cannot defend themselves more fervently! Their is an spiritual parallel between the oppressed and the children who abused who cannot do anything to protect themselves physically. Spiritually, none of us can do anything to save our own souls. We must rely completely on God’s grace in our life through Jesus sacrifice on our behalf. What a great way for us to demonstrate that kind of grace to others who are oppressed and at the mercy of those around them.
If you suspect someone may be a victim of domestic violence intersect their life! Two big factors in escaping the cycle are support and courage. Visiting these people at their homes, check in, call, and befriend them. These actions often embolden the victim and lets them know that someone cares about them as a human being. Many hotlines already exist that people can call when they suspect child abuse or neglect.
Other ways to connect?
The idea of connecting with a domestic violence shelter was used as an example. That is great opportunity but many more exist. It could be as simple as befriending those at risk, becoming a victims advocate, a mentor, getting involved in community activities.
What to do when connected?
Proverbs 25:11 “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver”.
Kind words go along way, especially to those who rarely hear them! By simply being a safe person, protecting them, caring about them, and keeping your word you can gain respect and trust. Many of us have experienced Christian love and care in our life. Many others have not and will not unless we demonstrate as we intersect in their lives.
Blog post by Reece Tedford