How do you help?

A few days ago I added a comment after a comment from [rhymes with karouac] about how I don’t know if I could be involved in ministry to homeless people. Well I spent my day dealing with a teenager who is newly homeless. His dad is active in our church and I believe he had good reasons for kicking his 18 year old son out of the house. But this puts me in the awkward position of trying to minister to this kid in my youth group, while at the same time trying to support what his dad is looking to accomplish.

So I have been asking myself the same question all day. What will really help? I can meet this kids immediate need and find him a place to stay and give him some money to eat, but ultimately what is best for him? If I continue to meet his needs then he isn’t learning anything about being on his own, and there is little chance that he will learn from his mistakes. In the same way, how can I as a pastor let this kid suffer? And what can I do about his family situation? With very little resources and even less extra time, what can I do to make a difference?

This is one of those times when living in a town like this is difficult, because there are no places where a kid like this can go. But of course this is where we as the church need to be the church in his life. But there again is where you have to ask the question what is really helping. I think we have a huge heart and a desire to help, but we don’t know what to do, we don’t want to make the problem worse–we want to make a real difference, but we just don’t know how to do it.

I know for me I often feel like I don’t know the best option so I end up doing nothing. I just wish I knew what was the best way to help.

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