I sat sweating bullets and I knew why. I couldn’t just blame the dual heat lamp/non-LED lighting fixtures trained on me. I faced conflict in my heart hearing a chasm between what I knew and what I did.
Part of me couldn’t wait for the interview to finish. Part of me thanked God for Matt’s questions.
I sat down on today for an interview. A Nashville based studio shot a documentary about Terre Haute last year. They titled it “God In My City.” My participation served to give one of many pastor perspectives.
The interviewer, Matt, questioned me on Terre Haute and Hauteans. Having lived in the Wabash Valley five years I felt comfortable giving my thoughts.
My thoughts on Terre Haute
I love this town. Terre Haute resists change. We also very skeptically receive new businesses and movements. The tendency remains to doubt whether a new business or movement can survive.
Strong, large families form the foundation of Terre Haute culture. Yet, broken, struggling, and poor people fill many homes. Drugs and alcohol abuse proliferate.
The Wabash Valley possesses a strong economic engine. With the intersection of railroads, highways, and cheap land, factories abound. Yet, good labor remains scarce. People struggle to find jobs.
Matt really dug in on the value of discipleship and the church. Question after question explored the value of outreach into the community. These questions I found both easy and hard to answer.
Experience repeatedly proved several things about outreach to me.
First, everyone loves receiving love; not sales pitches. You think that people really resist outreach ministry. In reality everyone loves receiving love; no one wants to be treated like a project.
Second, the gospel works. When I try to explain the gospel in detail people often get lost and lose interest. Yet, when I simply invite people to read the Gospel out of the Bible they respond dramatically. Tears flow as I watch someone read passages I have always known.
Third, when you reach out to people they will respond. When I call people from my church to say hi they always show up in church on Sunday. When I knock on 10 doors in my neighborhood one person always shows up in church. Outreach ministry done in love works.
So how did I eat crow? (and why I struggled to answer these questions.)
Despite all I know that I know about the value of out reach I don’t do it enough. Matt interviewed me for 90 minutes on the brokenness of Terre Haute and the church’s response.
Yet, the more I spoke the more I regretted how little I do.
Thousands of men and women suffer broken lives in Terre Haute because of sin. I know outreach works. Because of this knowledge I bear responsibility to act.
My interview today humbled me. Currently I do less then I know I can do to reach my community. I pray God’s change in me. I plan to make loving my neighbors a bigger part of my life.