Are you new to Fat Beggars School of Prophets blog? Are you a regular reader who responds to posts with comments? Are you a irregular reader who stops by sometimes but does not respond? Are you familiar with Fat Beggars from the streets of Lubbock, Texas (but perhaps new to the blog)?
If you answer “YES” to any of these questions, and even if not, let me formally invite you to participate in the “conversation” here.
It is entirely fitting that this post should be on the “about” page, but it is not. I think I will just leave the “about” page as it is. It has served its purpose well enough for a year and a half. However, some of the Fat Beggars covert operatives and I have been at work planting “invitations” around Lubbock this holiday season, and I have certainly begun a campaign of “reblogging” posts from the web that I find offers interesting discussion points regarding issues surrounding HOMELESSNESS. All of this is an effort to spark more feedback and exchange of ideas.
As one of the founding Fat Beggars, I bring a particular “angle” or ‘lens” to the discussion that I do not find anywhere else. I have spent most of the last year and a half promoting that particular angle, but with very little feedback/discussion. In a word, that angle is: Worship. But we might also call it a party.
How can worship be the answer to homelessness?
(glad you asked)
Follow the blog and join the “conversation” to find out!
The measures taken to draw interest to this discussion are most unusual (and thus we will see if they help or if God moves in spite of them). Printing up “flyers” to handout to people in various marketplaces, to leave in public restrooms, to attach to trashcans and dumpsters in areas where homeless people are known to gather, to hide in cases of beer at the liquor store (drunks love to talk about religion and politics), and to place as bookmarks in best-selling, Christian books on the rack in bookstores (bookstore customers surely are primed for it, no?) and in libraries (where homeless folk tend to congregate) so that they can be found later by whatever unsuspecting, random people God would attract… these are a few of the methods (some methods are actually covert) of reaching out to people in hopes to spark their interest.
see one of the bookmark flyers here:
Anyone reading here is welcome to copy this template or develop something similar and pass these around to friends and strangers (or place one in the collection plate at church next Sunday!) and thus join the covert operation(s). The idea is that sharing with strangers is not as likely to generate more than feigned interest, whereas reading material in a public toilet, if it gets interest, will be more genuine. Of course we especially want local people from Lubbock to join this “conversation”, but will welcome discussants far and wide.
(see also the cartoon drawings which also draw attention to the conversation and consider printing them off and distributing them where ever you go)
I would like to say “Make yourself at HOME” here, but since this ministry/blog deals with homelessness, that seems a bit too ironic. And since it is all about a prophetic message, one that typically disturbs the comforted (yet hopefully comforts the disturbed (at least some of the time)), I suggest you don’t actually make yourself too comfortable. We have a complacent culture to confront, and sadly it is a church culture in particular that needs the confronting.
If you are a church leader, you are particularly welcome here. If you are a homeless person, you are particularly welcome here. Your voice is desired, but I will not guarantee that it will find easy agreement. Some of your ideas will be challenged. Mine are open to challenge as well. So the challenge goes all the way around.
If you work with the homeless, your voice is welcome, but beware your ideas almost certainly will be challenged. If you come with a “secular” or even agnostic voice, you will be met with theological challenge here. However, I suspect quite strongly that “secular” and agnostic voices have worthwhile challenges for those of us promoting theology!
Fat Beggars is not a trendy street ministry. It is not a novel idea either. We do not promote ourselves here and/or raise money. We do not “think big” in any usual sense. The invitation to join the conversation is not any usual invitation. Yes, it is hoped that you are attracted to the discussion, but no, we are not trying to make ourselves any more attractive than Isaiah’s suffering servant, or help you with the newest or latest gimmick, or help you make a name for yourself, or whatever. In fact, you should notice right off that the pseudonym Agent X is used as a way of downplaying any personal gain from this ministry. I do not get paid for this. This ministry does not “have a budget” or any such bureaucratic trappings. I am not going to make a dime off the backs of suffering people’s sufferings (let this notice be a warning to those from fund-raising charities). Thus, the prophetic nature of this ministry and this blog is to be the still small voice of God that you mostly DON’T WANT to listen to. And so… if growth and bigness happen as a result, it will truly be the sheer blessing of God and not some fancy engineering on my part.
If that is not too complicated to follow, AND if you are still reading here, please consider joining the ‘conversation”. Read previous posts here to get a feel for the angle/lens this ministry promotes. Read a post, make a comment. Write a post and submit it for review and publication. And then talk to God about these things… and perhaps your pastor too. For homelessness is the church’s business way before anyone else’s.
As we ring in 2017, let’s see if God will bless the homeless of Lubbock with at least a broader conversation that maybe, just maybe, leads to God’s own address of the issues at hand.