Sunday, February 5, 2017

Besieged Again

This is a repost, a description of how I was (regularly) mobbed in urban ministry: "Today I found myself continually besieged. Even before the morning service, people were pressing me. And no sooner had the service finished, than a group of people was waiting for me as I greeted people at the Church door. I said: "Sorry, I have a meeting scheduled now." I came out of the meeting, only to be confronted by a group of people outside the vestry door. I said: "There are members who've been waiting to talk to me." I emerged from those meetings, only to be surrounded again. I said: "I really need you guys to let me through. I need to get into the office now." I emerged from the office, only to be besieged again. And then, on my way out of the Church gate, I was mobbed again. Finally I entered a shop to buy a cold drink -- and was confronted again, inside the shop. OBSERVATION: Many such people want charity. There's little I can do for all-comers. The Church has a resolution in place that I may only assist congregants, unless I can justify exceptional circumstances. I said to one young man today: "We don't have the capacity to help anyone and everyone." And yet they come."

POSTSCRIPT: Not reflected in this post is that, in such situations, I sought to be of some encouragement to people, any encouragement -- and the warmth of the "mobbers" towards me to this day shows that something was achieved. It is a sign, too, of thriving ministry -- just as, today, unsolicited advertising on our philosophy weekly is a sign that it is enjoying some success. I would be worried as an urban minister if I were not "besieged".

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