TeamMates on steroids

Here's a quick post to let you know that I spent a couple hours a week ago Tuesday tagging along with Mike Heili, one of the chaplains for the men's shelter for the People's City Mission. It was my "First Serve" that we've been talking about at Horizons lately.

One man after another came to his office. One came in to visit. After that, Mike did an intake--telling someone coming into the mission the terms for staying there.

After that, guys one after another stood inside the door to Mike's office to talk awhile. Mike has a way of cutting through their barriers and getting them to face the heart of the matter. It doesn't work to be subtle with them. He has to be loving and confrontive at the same time. And he does a great job of letting them know he still likes them, and that he is (we all are) a real mess, too, but thank God for not giving up on us.

After my two hours there, I stood with Mike outside the front door of the mission and prayed for him. It nearly made me weep to know what he faces each and every day at work and how much God needs him there. But it will take more than human strength. It makes me want to pray for Mike and all the others who work on the front lines at the mission day after day. It makes me want to pray for them a lot.

I could see somebody reading this blog deciding to look into volunteering at the mission. Maybe being assigned somebody at the shelter to just visit with for an hour once a week. Maybe you'd get a new person every few weeks, but you'd visit with them once a week as long as they're there. You wouldn't try to fix all their problems, but you'd support them in working with God to find answers to what they face.

This would be like TeamMates on steroids.


Tag along with Mike

Just to catch you up, I've decided what my "First Serve" will be.

(Based on a program Horizons is using from Willow Creek Community Church, "First Serve" is when each of us tries something out one time to see if it's a ministry God might be leading us to commit to on a regular basis. A "First Serve" means we shadow someone and primarily observe that initial time.)

For a couple hours on November 14, I'm going to tag along with Mike Heili, chaplain at the People's City Mission's men's shelter. I've decided to cancel staff meeting that morning to carve out time for it. I know that I can't add something unless first I subtract something else. Don't know if this will be regular thing or how I'd find time to make it regular; taking this just one step at a time for now.

But it'll be good for me to serve outside of Horizons, to do something that's truly volunteer and not part of my role as pastor.

I'll let you know how it goes. Peace.