I shall close out this series of what I’ve learned over the years with a short story that illustrates well the heart of ministry.
While I was at Outreach, Inc., a local film company was doing a promotional video for us. They interviewed me and one of my guys, LaMar, at their studio.
During LaMar’s interview, they were asking him what Outreach (and Rob) did for him. In fact, it was like, “Did they help you get your own place?” “No.” “Did they help you with school supplies?” “Not so much.” As the list went on of what we didn’t do, I started wondering to myself, “What the heck did we do for LaMar??” Then the interviewer asked that same question.
“What is it Outreach did provide for you?”
Here is LaMar’s response:
“I knew that if I was in trouble, or needed anything, or just needed someone to call, that they would be there for me. That’s what they provided for me.”
I learned right there and then that people in need don’t need “things” or even help per se, nearly as much as they need support, encouragement, consistency, availability, someone who is for them….Love. Perfectly, this comes from God. Imperfectly yet essentially, this comes from me and you.
LaMar went on to become the first ever college graduate in Outreach’s then 15 year history.