Our God in His perfect contentment left Heaven and put skin on in order to dwell among the people He would save. He left His comfort and embraced the struggle of being a human being, while still remaining fully God. He was tempted in every way as we’ve been, yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15). Being a human, Jesus not only relates with us, but can have compassion on us.
Ministry is built on relationships
If ministry is truly proclaiming good news to the poor, proclaiming liberty to the captives and the oppressed, and making disciples, then ministry must be built around relationships with other. We can’t show compassion towards hypothetical people that we don’t know. Hearing about Bonton and the need for healthy food choices in the midst of a food desert may be compelling enough to volunteer once a month. However, if a neighbor, friend, or family member had diabetes or kidney issues because of something that seems so simple as access and proximity to a grocery store, it may actually be motivating enough to take action. Praise God that’s what our urban missionaries have done by moving into Bonton and starting Bonton Farms.
H.I.S. BridgeBuilders began when our founder Mike Fechner built a relationship. The relationships that he built were transformational, not transactional. When we’re disconnected from the people we’re seeking to serve, there is a danger of making service about ourselves and what we can do to change the community. Initially, developing Bonton may seem like a good thing, but it will only help when it’s connected to the people that live there. Until we see them as human beings and really try to understand their needs, our attempts to serve may actually hurt. Without actually knowing them and seeing the image of God in them, we won’t realize how much we’d benefit from their relationship with us and not just them benefitting from our relationship with them.
We Build Bridges
Our mission is to be an urban missionary organization that mobilizes the body of Christ to alleviate poverty and promote flourishing communities. Urban missionaries, the body of Christ, flourishing communities—these all consist of people. As a matter of fact, the mission statement itself even paints a picture of a bridge, with urban missionaries as catalysts to connect those who bear hope (the body of Christ) with those who are looking for hope.
To truly become Bridge Builders we have to enter the trenches with people. The motivation for us is the good news of the Kingdom of Heaven: that God came to be with man to create a bridge so that man can be with God. Now as ministers of reconciliation, we’re walking across this bridge we quickly realize it’s a two-way street.
Jesus is the bread of life and the fountain of living water and in our hunger and thirst the Father has drawn us to Him to come eat and drink (John 6:35–44). We are just beggars pointing out to those in South Dallas where to find bread. It’s not merely sharing the abundance of our physical bread (material wealth) with those who don’t have physical bread (material poverty). If poverty is ultimately a result of the fall, then the solution is salvation by grace and faith in Christ’s substitutionary life, forgiving death, and redeeming resurrection. For those of us who have been given life and life abundantly, we know it’s a truly satisfying life, not from wealth but because of the calling given to us by Christ to make disciples and be faithful to use the gifts He’s given to us for His glory. Join H.I.S. BridgeBuilders by not only fighting to alleviate the manifestation of systemic poverty, but also seeking the flourishing of the people who exist within the communities that we’re serving.
Jahmaol Clark is from Carrollton, TX but currently resides in Dallas. He is a recent Dallas Baptist University graduate, a Christian Hip Hop artist, and the founder of a Hip Hop discipleship program called 2 Talented. Jahmaol is a member of The Village Church, loves working with youth, and seeks to use his music as a way to preach the Gospel and make disciples of the next generation. You can find out more about Jahmaol, his music, and ministry at www.jahmaolclark.com.