Yesterday I watched this video and you should too!
It’s a TED talk from the Mayor of Albuquerque on how the city is successfully dealing with homelessness and panhandling.
Mayor Richard J. Berry is doing the right things – empowering people, tapping into people’s value, treating people like human beings, and the results are impressive – huge reductions in homelessness, and getting people the help they need for drug and alcohol problems. Go figure that when you actually treat people like people, then lives improve.
Even though this is a government initiative, it sounds like the Gospel message in which people’s lives are changed. Yes, the Mayor doesn’t actually say anything Christian, but if he isn’t living out the Gospel with his “Better Way” program, then I’m not sure how you could.
Imagine if we took this same attitude to other cities. Imagine if churches took this same attitude with their own ministries. Imagine how lives could change if we actually took people at face value, we tapped into their value, we connected them with services that can work with them on challenges, we built relationships with people, and treated people as people who have potential for so much more. Add in a Gospel message in which grace, mercy, love, peace, and forgiveness abound, and you’ve got yourself the makings of something incredible that people would want to be a part of. Not because it would be really cool and cutting edge, but because it would be a message and activity that people desperately needed to hear and experience. And once you have that – look out. Lives would be changing.