Then Jesus made a circuit of all the towns and villages. He taught in their meeting places, reported kingdom news, and healed their diseased bodies, healed their bruised and hurt lives. When he looked out over the crowds, his heart broke. So confused and aimless they were, like sheep with no shepherd. “What a huge harvest!” he said to his disciples. “How few workers! On your knees and pray for harvest hands!” ~ Matthew 35-38 (MSG)
Seeing All the People drives us to build authentic relationships that create belonging as everyone feels known and valued as Children of God.
A vital church sees all the people. This relies not on eyesight but heartsight that happens in conversation and is developed through relationships. As you heard from this sampling of voices, seeing all the people is measured by the degree to which people inside and outside the walls of the church are known, accepted, respected and valued as children of God by the church. It requires church leaders and members to experience a transformed mindset, to interrupt their fears and biases, to grow in cultural humility and to build authentic relationships instead of transactional ones.
Seeing all the people is an outward mindset that builds relationships with neighbors to create spaces of belonging, inclusion, and to learn from shifting contexts. It means actively erasing boundaries that exist in the communities that we’re a part of. When we listen with love in our hearts to the community’s voice––one conversation at a time––especially with those on the margins, the Holy Spirit changes us and inspires us.
Jesus’ heart broke as he got to know people. As he and we pray for harvest hands we understand that this isn’t for survival of the institution of church, it isn’t just to keep our doors open, but for sharing the love and grace of God so people can live life to the full.
- As you reflect on the scripture, what word or phrase is speaking to you right now? Why?
- When have you felt invisible or not valued?
- What most prevents you from striking up a conversation with someone you don’t know?
- Who is your church NOT seeing? If you don't have a good answer for this, please run MissionInsite's ComparativeInsite reports.