A few months ago, I talked to a woman who had become disillusioned by her experiences with missional living. She made her feelings pretty clear as she told me why she thinks my small group is wasting its time when we try to help people in messy situations.
"Some people don't change," she said, "And it's not our job to fix them—it's God's."
Her candid feelings startled me. I agree with her—some people don't seem to change. And I agree that it is God's job to change people (and he can change even this woman's heart). But I also know that God wants us to love on others and help usher in the kingdom by righting the wrongs we see, helping people to live the lives that God intended for them all along.
But the truth of the matter is that when our small groups try to help others, it doesn't always work out the way we'd like. We don't always see someone finding their way back to God. We don't always experience warm, fuzzy feelings. We don't even get a thank you very often. Despite this, we're still called to help, to serve, and to love.
Even if nothing changes. Even if there's no thank you. Even if it's so messy that we worry how much worse it will get.
We don't get to control the outcome. We just obey the directions that God has given us.
A new article from Joel Brooks on SmallGroups.com really fleshes this idea out, and I appreciate the author's honesty. Have a look and let us know what you think below. For a great single-session Bible study on this topic, see Called to a Life of Mercy and Justice from our sister site, ChristianBibleStudies.com.