All true ministry has the goal of leading a people to faith in Jesus as Lord and living that out in their lives. This is how the church should look when it is acting like Jesus to those rejected by society:
Identification—I Cor. 9:19-23 Some within a congregation that will take on the role of an outcast in order to reach them. Get rid of the separation between the “server” and the “served”.
Offer to be Family—Mark 2:15-17; Luke 15. Total love of the “sinner”, and an offer to partake in acceptance. This is the major felt need of the outcast—social acceptability. To offer acceptance is not to have the outcast feel that acceptance—this only comes with an acceptance of forgiveness and inclusion in the community. This sense of family cannot be created by a program, but one can use a program as a base-point to increase this acceptance.
Listening—James 1:19 You cannot meet anyone’s needs until you know what they are. Get past the first hurdles in order to discover their real needs (e.g. no one needs money, money is a means to meet the real need)
Benevolence—Trying to meet their needs, but doing so with dependence on God. Those with resources, give what you have (Luke 12:33); those without, pray for healing (Matt 10). To give what we have, may be to offer what God alone has to give, instead of the petty resources we have (Acts 3:1-8).
Deliverance—From Satan, from sin, from death. This is God’s area, and if we are called to work with the outcast, we are God’s representatives.
A. By prayer. (Mark 9:28-29; Luke 18:1-8). Through prayer, deliverance from oppression can occur.
B. By teaching. (Matthew 28:19-20). Through the teaching of Jesus’ commands, teaching and life there will come understanding of God’s justice and of gaining that justice.
C. By dwelling with (John 1:14; Acts 2:42-47). By living with the outcast and showing them the life of Christ they will gain understanding and the ability to live it out.
D. By suffering for. (John 12:24-27; Colossians 1:24) Through suffering the suffering of Christ the people of God will be redeemed. This is the wake up call, the realization of the atonement in the lives of the people, the life of Christ in the flesh.
Forgiveness— Luke 15; Mark 2:1-12; John 20:23. This is also a sense of acceptance, like mentioned above, under “family”. But this is different, in that it occurs after regret for sin and repentance is done. This is an acceptance that comes after a wiping away of the debt of sin, and is fuller than a simple offering of acceptance.
Guiding to Commitment—Luke 14:26-27.
A. Commitment to God as the one true Lord (Matthew 6:24);
B. Commitment to living according to the righteousness of Jesus (Matthew 7:24-27; John 14:15);
C. Commitment to Love (Mark 21:29-31);
D. Commitment to the family of God (Matthew 12:47-50);
E. Commitment to reaching out to the outcast (Matthew 28:19-20).