I still remember the moment. I had invested six months, hundreds of dollars, and countless training hours leading up to my attempt to run across Tennessee in a 314-run (500K) called Vol State in the heat of July 2016. The first day had been difficult, yet I had managed fourth place and 98 miles by […]
Most towns have many organizations that help people living outside. Chattanooga, TN, for instance, has two rescue missions, a community kitchen, homeless healthcare center, the homeless coalition, which has a goal of ending chronic homelessness, and many faith based services for people living on the streets. All of these are great programs that do great work for the homeless community.
But if you ask them what they are doing about the people that are not coming to their location for services, you get the same answer everywhere. They already have their hands full with the people who are coming to receive their services. They have the desire to help everyone in need, but they lack the manpower and resources to reach the people who aren’t coming in for help.
I recently wrote an article about how God helps the people who can’t help themselves. If you haven’t read that article yet, please do before you finish this post.
Those people who aren’t coming for services usually have a good reason. I was giving a man we serve a ride to work when he opened up to me about some of what takes place. He gave me reason after reason why he will not use the services available for help. I won’t get into specifics, but the important thing to realize is that something has happened at more than one place to convince him that he cannot get the help he needs by utilizing these organizations.
What’s the solution?
Become an activist.
An activist is someone who works to create positive change.
That doesn’t mean that you go into existing organizations and try to change them. That means that YOU do something to create a positive change in someone’s life. An activist isn’t always someone who rallies the masses to achieve something great.
An activist is someone who rallies themselves to do something great and leads anyone who is willing to follow.
An activist is an individual who takes a stand, alone.
Sometimes being an activist isn’t easy. Most of the time it isn’t easy, but change doesn’t happen when nothing is taking place. An effect doesn’t occur without a cause, and a cause doesn’t begin without a causal agent. An effect is waiting to happen; the cause is about to begin. Are you the agent responsible?
How do you do it?
Live an intentional life.
Don’t let anything pass by you, and don’t let anything happen in your life by accident. Determine each day what you are going to do. Stop waiting for someone else to do something you can support. You become the person someone else will support. Make an intentional effort to find someone who needs help, ask them what they need, and provide it for them. You have to live like the change you want to see in everyone else. If you think more people need to go out looking for someone to help instead of waiting for them to come to you, then GO.
Somewhere inside of us all is that one thing that stirs our emotions. For me it is helping the people who have been ignored by society and the church. For another it is children abandoned by their parents. Figure out your cause, and make it happen.
Jimmy Turner is a husband, father, combat vet, writer, and church planter in Chattanooga. He is the Executive Director for Relevant Hope Inc., a non-profit organization designed to help the poor and needy in Chattanooga, TN and beyond by meeting relevant needs and providing future hope. Jimmy lives in Chattanooga with his wife Shay and two boys AJ and Taylor.
Also visit ActivistFaith.org for this and other posts from Christians living out their faith to change lives.