I’ve written about my perceived calling to inner cities several times before. If you know me outside of this blog, I’m sure we have spoken about it before as well. Moving back to Columbus after college has really only served to further fuel that desire. To be honest, it’s a calling I have struggled with believing. Not because I don’t want to minister to that type of area, but because I want to minister to that type of area so badly. I have feared at times that I have made myself feel that calling because I like to hear people tell me how brave I am for wanting to move to a ghetto to share the gospel or how I’m a better Christian because I’m willing to sacrifice comfort for the gospel. After living the last two years pretty comfortably in Columbus with my wife and attending a couple of churches who minister to wealthy suburbs of Columbus, I just can’t shake the calling to the inner city. Specifically in this case, the bottoms of Columbus. My wife and I want to buy a house in the bottoms and move there as we share the gospel with our neighbors.
I firmly believe that in order to effectively reach a community, you have to live in and be apart of the community. While I was in college I attended a church that desperately wanted to reach out to the poor and lost of the towns urban areas and asked for their members to live in those areas, while the church leaders (some, not all) lived far away in very nice houses while sending their kids to private Christian schools. You can’t share the gospel with people when you only want to interact with them when it’s convenient for you. I know it’s a scary thing to live in the ghetto, there have been many times where I have thought about moving my young bride to the drug riddled and crime capital of Columbus and have simply wanted to ask God for another calling, but as a husband, I have to lead my wife and my future children to where God wants us. And right now I am completely confident that He wants us in the Columbus ghetto.
Lisa and I are in the very beginning stages of looking for a home when our apartment lease is up this coming winter. I pray that if this truly where God wants us to set up shop, that it will be made obvious in this part of our journey.