[forthright] The Other Side of the Street

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From: Forthright Magazine <forthright@...>
Date: Sat, 21 Jun 2003 11:39:46 -0300
   Forthright Magazine
   Going straight to the Cross

   Today, a new columnist! Our friend Mike starts his
   Field Notes. Read his bio on the "About Us" page:

   COLUMN: Field Notes

   The Other Side of the Street
   by Michael E Brooks

   We were in the second week of campaigning in a
   little town. I had established a series of home
   Bible studies in a particular neighborhood and was
   traveling there each day. One morning as I went to
   an appointment a lady came to the edge of the
   road, on the other side, and called out, "People
   on this side of the street want to hear the Gospel

   What a wonderful experience and what a great
   lesson! We can become so focused on one person,
   group, or area that we fail to see needs and
   opportunities elsewhere. This is true not only in
   evangelism, but in life generally. A Christian
   mother is busy with house and children; does she
   see all the needs of her husband? A father is
   preoccupied with work, providing a material
   living. What about his children's needs for his
   time and attention? What about his own spiritual

   But the primary lesson remains evangelistic. Jesus
   describes the process as "A sower went out to sow"
   (Matt. 13:3). Careful placing of seed in a
   prepared site is not the method He suggests.
   Rather, broadcasting -- throwing seed abundantly
   and letting it fall where it will -- is His
   method. We can be too concerned with efficiency
   and fertile fields. Lost souls are everywhere.
   Human needs abound. And sometimes the greatest
   need and the most open heart may be in an unusual,
   unexpected place. We must keep our eyes open,
   ready to see where such need exists.

   Is there a "wrong side" of the street? Most towns
   and cities have certain districts of bad
   reputation. Perhaps the people there are poorer
   than in other areas. Maybe immorality or crime is
   more common. Sometimes it is a matter of different
   races or ethnicities being in the majority.

   It is not uncommon for the "better" people of the
   city to avoid such districts. Unfortunately this
   can be true of Christians as they seek to minister
   to their neighborhoods. We just "don't go there."
   Maybe it is out of fear. Perhaps it is because we
   don't feel it would be effectual. Or maybe it is
   because we don't really want to deal with "those
   kinds of people."

   James says about such prejudices, “My brethren, do
   not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the
   Lord of glory, with partiality ... have you not
   shown partiality among yourselves, and become
   judges with evil thoughts?" (Jas. 2:1, 4).

   People on that side of the street want, and need,
   to hear the Gospel too.

   You can help us get the word out. Here's how: