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MEETING THEM WHERE THEY'RE AT "Filthy Rags Outreach is a steppingstone TO THE CHURCH. It’s not the Church, or a Church service, but a vehicle God is using to call men TO THE CHURCH... and that's how we push. Meeting these men right where they're at, but not compromising where WE'RE at. We are men chosen by the Savior to minister the Gospel of Salvation, we don't bend, fold, or break, but stand steadfast as servants of Christ to win souls for the Savior... while remembering why they came."--(F.R.O. Core Values section 1) This is a quote from our Core Values section, this is a part of what we model this outreach after. We want to be able to meet a cat right where he's at, we don't want ppl to feel like, "man these guys is way up there, and I'm way down here... man I can't relate to that." We don't want guys to walk away and think, "...that ain't for me. I ain't there yet." Naw, we want guys to SEE where we at, we want them to see it and it acknowledge it--we ain't gone dumb it down or try to hide it--cause we want to give them something to aspire to, we have to give them something to strive toward, but at the same time we want to reach them right where there at, be able to connect with them in a way that they can relate to, so that instead they can walk away and say, "man I can relate to these brothers... Our thing is that, we don't never want to forget our own starting point... we don't never wanna get so holy minded when we dealing wit ppl that we forget that WE WERE ONCE THEM, that we ourselves were once where they're at. We don't never wanna take away from the glory of God, we want to magnify it. And one way that you magnify His power and glory is being able to connect with ppl and saying, "I was once in your shoes, but look at the power of God." We want to be relatable and connect with ppl. And that’s exactly how Jesus served it, He CONNECTED with the ppl and met them right where they were at. I mean think about it, wasn't no one holier than Jesus, right? (Jn. 3:31) But yet when he connected with ppl, He met them right where they were at, He didn't dumb down or compromise where HE was at, but He was able to reach out, relate to, and connect with ppl right where they were at. THAT'S what Paul was talking about in 1st.Corinthians 9:22 when he said, "to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might when Jews... to those who are without law, as without law, [the men we're reaching out to are lawless], not being without law toward God, but under the law toward Christ, that I might win those who are without law..." He said, "I became all things to all men that I might by all means save some." This is what JESUS taught him (remember, he said he didn't receive this from man, Gal. 1:11-12). Paul was a tent maker by trade, but Jesus taught him how to be a fisherman of MEN. And he showed him, "THIS is how you do it." As a minister of the Gospel, Paul understood how important it was to BE ABLE to "meet men where they're at" An absolute perfect picture and example of this is when he was in Athens and got at the ppl on mars hill (read Acts ch.17). See, Paul is about that Gospel, he's about fishing for men--he really lived that life, so when he was waiting for the brethren to come and meet up with him, he slides to the downtown area of Athens to look for some ppl he can talk to. And the scriptures say, while he was down there, he was checkin’ out what the ppl are into. As he's discovering what the ppl are into, he didn't freak out and trip when he sees these cats down here in Athens is into a whole bunch of mess, that they was worshipping all kind of things. Naw, he didn't trip about it, he took mental note of it. Because in his mind, he's like, "Ohh, this is what I'm going to use to relate to them... this is what I'm going to use to "meet them right where they're at..." so he can BUILD A BRIDGE for them to one day reach where "he's" at. Way too often cats in the church get saved and cleansed from their sins and then turn around and look down they nose at the ppl whose still in the mud, like that wasn't just them 10 or 15 years ago. Naw man, we gotta get away from that, Jesus told Peter, “When thou art been converted [go back and] strengthen thy brethren."-- Lk. 22: 32 We have to get strong, get rooted and grounded, like a tree planted by the rivers of water, become established and unmovable, and then go back and strengthen our brothers. We teach our facilitators that we can't forget where we came from, what God delivered us from... we can't forget our starting point. I mean think about it, why you think the scriptures teach us to "share our testimony"? We share our testimony to show forth the power and glory of God and to testify of His goodness, but in that also is a reminder for YOU. A reminder of what God did for YOU! A reminder of where God brought YOU from, so that when you see others that are where you once were, you can identify with them and REACH them. You wanna know how big God is on not forgetting your starting point? Well, first of all, the scriptures already teach us to be humble and to esteem others higher than ourselves (Phil. 2:3) but I'm a tell you how big God is on us not forgetting our starting point... You ever noticed whenever God spoke to someone--especially when He had to check ‘em about something, He always started off with reminding them of what He did for them, where He brought them from... He always reminded them of their starting point. Look at what God said when He addressed the nation of Israel in Judges, He started off His address by reminding of their starting point! He did the same thing in His address to David in 2nd. Samuel 7:8-9 and ch.12:7-8. He always reminded them of their starting point! Charles Champion Seattle, WA

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