We had an awesome crew from The Forge Fitness team come volunteer with us downtown this past Sunday! Here’s a word from Rich and Chris on how serving with Urban Purpose is a great way to meet people where they are.
Monthly Archives: January 2014
People love to hear success stories. We all want to hear about victories and a job well done but success is a little harder to pinpoint when it comes to Urban Purpose. How do you measure success when your days look like drug tests, trips to the counselor, or probation?
This past week we were asked how we measure success at Urban Purpose. Personally, our success as the Urban Purpose team is measured by our obedience to the Lord. We constantly pray for wisdom and the ability to love as God loves us as we face many different opportunities and decisions each day. As we pray for and pursue these things, sometimes it comes quickly; other times it is a struggle and choices can be harder to make as our flesh comes out. Whether in exercising patience, holding our tongues or taking steps forward, our success is measured in our obedience to God. In our sort of ministry, Mark, Jim, and I are continually reminded of our own shortcomings and of how much grace God gives each of us every single day. Our prayer is that God will lead our ministry and direct our steps in all we do. It is only when we faithfully follow and allow Him to lead us that we can talk about “success.”
When it comes to “success stories” in the lives of those we work with, a definition can be even more difficult to nail down. Each person we work with is unique and comes with their own set of struggles, strengths and weaknesses. We have definitive goals with each of our clients but these goals differ in each situation and as many ups and downs are faced. There are days where a success is as simple, yet significant, as someone going one more day without using; other days, success is in a person holding their tongue or taking the high road in a disagreement. We are ever being reminded that success has nothing to do with numbers, dollars or results. Success is found in the moments when God’s hand is clearly seen at work even in the smallest, sometimes seemingly unimportant happenings. We are learning to look for these moments and to stop and celebrate them as they come. Success is recognizing God’s hand in the moment and stopping to joyfully praise Him for His continued faithfulness. We often want tangible results but there is something to be said for the sorts of successes that are so clearly God at work that they can’t be explained apart from His faithfulness.
David Phillips, member at Shades Mountain Baptist Church, has been involved in Urban Purpose in various ways over the years. David and his family have volunteered downtown at the Sunday meal and David’s company renovated our office space to get it in working order. We are so blessed by people like David that not only give their time, but also offer their skills and talents to support our ministry. David joined us downtown this week and shared about his experience–
“My name is David Phillips and I have been involved with Urban Purpose since very early in the life of the ministry. Throughout my involvement, I have been especially impressed with the effectiveness of the approach that Jim, Mark and Emily Grace take to show the love of Jesus Christ to the less fortunate and needy in our community.
This past Sunday, I took my entire family and my Sunday School class of tenth grade boys down to serve the regular Sunday meal. We had a great turn out from the class as well as those who came to enjoy the meal. I have really pushed these students to get involved with ministries such as Urban Purpose because I feel like it is a perfect opportunity for them to share the love of Jesus Christ that is poured out for all of us. Interacting with the homeless folks shows the students that we are all sinners living with different earthly consequences of our sin, and reconciliation is only available through the shed blood of Jesus. I would encourage anyone who has never been involved with serving “the least of these” to come down one Sunday with Urban Purpose.”
We are grateful to David’s family and tenth grade guys for coming downtown and serving with us! Ministry likes ours is not complicated– we love on people while trying to meet their basic needs such as food and warm clothes. Our downtown meal is about building relationships and loving on the broken and needy and we are grateful to David and others like him that faithfully invest their time and resources into Urban Purpose.
Visit www.urbanpurpose.org for more information on Sunday meals or to find out how you, your family or church group can get involved with Urban Purpose.