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Pastor Mike Glenn

We don’t have a homeless problem. Sure, there are people that don’t have homes, and yes, that’s a problem. In reality, however, being homeless is a consequence of a series of other problems. There are many reasons a person might end up homeless, and there is no one solution that answers all of the challenges that can lead to homelessness.
Sometimes, the issue is addiction. Other times, it’s mental illness. Abuse or abandonment can leave a mother on the streets with her children, and other times, changes in our economy leaves an entire family without anywhere to go.
Most people, as well intentioned as they may be, don’t understand how complicated and complex the issue of homelessness is and because of this, their efforts to minister to the homeless aren’t as helpful as they could be. In fact, these efforts can end up hurting the homeless.
So, if you are convicted about the homeless and want to do something to help them, where do you start? With food? That’s a start, but there’s more to the problem of homelessness than meals. Shelter? Again, a good start, but how many shelters can one person build? How many people can you actually get off the street?
The tough answer is this: not many.
That’s why being involved in Nashville Rescue Mission is a matter of stewardship as much as compassion. Nashville Rescue Mission has the systems and processes needed to engage the homeless at their point of need. Addicts need one kind of response. The unemployed, whether temporary or long term, need a different kind of response. A single mom with children needs a different kind of response. No one person can handle the complexities of each of these situations.
The Mission has the systems in place so you can engage in ways that maximize your resources and gifts. They can train you, which means you don’t have to learn the hard way. You can be connected to a meaningful ministry a lot faster than you would ever be able to do on your own.
Second, as you give to the Mission, you can be assured your resources are being spent in ways that have been proven to make a real and lasting difference in the lives of those being served.
Do you want to know the best part? Working with Nashville Rescue Mission, we do it in a way that allows all of us to work together. A problem—homelessness—is being addressed as God brings people together with the needed resources, talents, and experiences to bring solutions no one person could have thought of themselves. Together, we find out it’s a God thing.
And like always, we leave thinking we showed up to help, only to find out we were the one who was helped most. Like I said, it’s a God thing.
 
Pastor Mike Glenn is the senior pastor of Brentwood Baptist Church in Brentwood, Tennessee. He is a graduate of Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, and received a Master of Divinity and Doctorate of Ministry from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. He and his wife, Jeannie, have two married sons. Visit his blog at mikeglennonline.com.

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