Jesus Christ commissioned His disciples to spread the Good News to the entire world. For such an overwhelming task, He must have taught them a successful method, right? Most probably, He lived it.
While His messengers have gone to the ends of the earth, to far away countries, to remote places and isolated tribes, what about us, those living in Dublin? At ACS Dublin we believe that each one of us can find his or her mission-place in the urban jungle.
Our method is a replication of Jesus’ method, as it is described in the book entitled Ministry of Healing written by Ellen G. White:
Christ’s method alone will give true success in reaching the people: The Saviour mingled with men as one who desired their good. He showed His sympathy for them, ministered to their needs, and won their confidence. Then He bade them, ‘Follow Me.’Ellen G. White, Ministry of Healing
You’ve noticed the five steps:
- Mingling with people
- Showing compassion
- Ministering people’s needs
- Winning their confidence
- Inviting them to follow
It looks like many times we skip some steps, even going bold to the last step. Some other times we assume that people have already come a long way and we have won their confidence. Each of ACS Dublin team volunteers are invited to become aware of this method and then apply it accordingly.
Let’s show you how we do it:
1. Mingling with people
We want to be found where they are, as ones desiring their good. Just be there, smile, pat on the shoulder, look into their eyes. You cannot reach them staying behind a glass. Our high visible vests signal that we are there, amongst the people, ready to help.
2. Showing compassion
We don’t ask them “what have you done?”, or “how come you are here”… instead we ask “have you eaten anything?” One of our volunteer testified that a person, whom he was talking on the street late in the evening, confessed to him: “You are the first person I talk to today.”
3. Ministering people’s needs.
We usually offer hot food, sandwiches, fruits, biscuits, hot drinks. Not once, not twice, we gave more than food. Clothes, toiletries, advice, money, sleeping bags, called a hostel, called the ambulance. People’s felt needs are the points of contact. If that person asks for a help, we have reached the first steps.
4. Winning their confidence
Many times after we give without any expectations we see that people open more. We get a name – suddenly he/she is not a stranger anymore. We learn about his/her family, or a past tragedy, or even a continuous struggle. That person talks to someone who does not want to take any advantage of his/her dire straits.
5. Inviting them to follow
We can not solve all the issues. But we can invite these people to get courage, to keep going, and to have hope. Right there on the street we prayed with people (upon their request). Right there we spoke about God, the Good News. Right there others joined us in free service!