Loving the Broken: Thoughts on Homeless Ministry in Birmingham

This morning I had the opportunity to go with a friend of mine from church to downtown Birmingham to minister to some homeless guys.  My friend has a ministry where he meets a group of guys downtown on Sunday mornings early in order to feed, encourage, and pray for them.  I had heard stories from him about the cool things that God is doing through this ministry so I decided to come check it out.

To be honest, I was kind of worried about going.  This was definitely a big step out of my comfort zone of ministering to students through small groups and preaching the Word.  The nervousness gave way to comfort and enjoyment when I arrived downtown.  The hospitality and openness of these guys to share their hearts, stories, and lives with me really blew me away.

I was struck with sorrow after hearing the stories of the journey which led these men to the streets. These were people who had been abandoned by the family and friends which cared about them prior to their struggles financially or with some form of addiction that led them to the streets.  They had been abandoned by the ones they loved and some of them had lived driven by a controlling addiction which took from them everything that they had.  These were genuinely broken people in desperate need of the love and gospel of Jesus Christ.

It was refreshing to minister to broken people who are so appreciative of your willingness to spend some time with them to hear their stories.  I feel like if Jesus lived in Birmingham He would be found not in the megachurch pulpit but sitting on the edge of the fountain in Five Points South loving on the broken.  My prayer is that God would break my heart and the hearts of His church to get out of our comfort zones and love the broken.