Jesus — the Ultimate Social Worker
Our vertical expression must have horizontal effect. Jesus & Paul the ultimate social workers, how did they do it? And How can we imitate them?
Faith is active
Inactivity is the enemy of faith as ‘faith is proven by its works’(James 2). And without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb 11:6). So acting in your life is pleasing God. Your faith without action is weak, pray for strength and a clear, single-mindedness to act, within God’s parameters for your life
When John asked Jesus to prove himself Jesus said “the blind see, the lame walk…” Matt 11:5. This is the sign that Jesus is who he says He is.
‘Jesus was a social worker who went to church.’.
At the time of Jesus the Jews only held service on one day a week, on Saturday. The rest of Jesus ‘meetings’ were meeting people: on the streets, in their homes (Luke 19:1–10), at social events (John 2).
We know that Paul said “imitate me as I imitate Christ”. (1 Chorinthians 11:1). We read “While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, …He went to the synagogue to reason with the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles, and he spoke daily in the public square to all who happened to be there.” — Acts 17:16–17 He was going to the public places to meet real people, to invite them to reason that Jesus might be who He says He was.
Jesus taught in any town, any public space and we see Paul doing the same. Paul was where the people were, he ministered in mediterranean places. Hence lots of squares and open air preaching in the Bible. In Spain people meet outside in the plazas too. But in our culture people don’t go outside because it’s cold and rainy, so we meet them where they are. Indoors.
Ministry is outside the church
Christians and non-believers bought people to Jesus, Paul and others in public. They won’t often bring people to church, you have to meet people where they want to meet you. God is faithful to look after you when you are. You won’t shine in the temple, you’ll shine on the hill. You won’t shine under the bed or behind the walls, you’ll shine on a lamp-stand. Zacharias became a Christian when the perfect God decided him worthy of visiting for dinner.
Jesus was the ultimate social worker. Not only could he find housing for people, or give them free food. He could immediately by-pass the NHS through healing, avoid psychiatry sessions through liberation and restore outcasts to society. God is looking for us to relate to people outside. Some of us as a full time or part-time ministry. The rest as daily living.
Joe Houston from Hillsong says:
Our vertical expression must have a horizontal effect. So, we’ll continue to worship, praise and honour God with heart, soul, mind and strength the best we know how, but the fruit of that must be a generation who are totally committed to reaching the lost and helping those who need help, locally and globally. — Joel Houston
Live, love, be a social worker to those around you. It’s just a term we’ve used to express helping others navigate life’s maze. Thankfully we have the Holly Spirit!