This homeless ministry in which I engage is nothing to be proud of.
I have not made a name for myself doing this – except the pseudonym “Agent X”, which is a name no one uses for me personally. In fact, I only use it here, really, and I use it specifically to mute my identity and not call attention to myself or take credit for the “good deeds” I do.
I don’t get a pay check for this work. On the contrary, I pay to do it instead. I have never earned a dime doing it. Nor do I have a big budget I can brag on. Thus I cannot call this a million dollar ministry or say that I have spent a million dollars alleviating poverty; I have not.
There are no awards, monuments, endowments, letters of recommendation or any kind of memorial associated with this ministry.
I am happy to report that on a few occasions donors (some among the very few readers I attract here) have offered hundreds of dollars at a time to serve our cause. Two times I got $500 donations, one time I got a $300 donation, and a couple of times I got a $100 donation – all this over the course of almost 10 years. I am thankful for every dime we receive, but actually I don’t even want a budget – not a regular one anyway. I prefer to see what God does with this work and not confuse it with what Mammon can do. The simplest way to avoid such confusion is to limit the income.
I am happy to say that donors once bought a tiny travel trailer for one of my needy friends to live in, but other than that we make no claims about all the people we house or have housed or all the jobs they now work etc.
Instead we brag, if you can call it that, about the times we held worship in an alley, in a park, behind a liquor store or outside a locked up church house door in the middle of the night. The one time we left our litter was to make sure the janitor at the church would plainly see that a communion service had been held in front of that locked door the night before the regularly scheduled services. But (surprise, surprise…) they didn’t call the newspapers to report it. I strongly doubt whether the pastor or any of the deacons there ever heard word one about it.
I do not have a regular office – not in a church building or a professional building of any kind. No staff. No secretary. No honorific title like “executive minister” or “senior pastor” or ANYTHING of the sort. No special parking space. No name plate. No retirement plan, healthcare plan or any other benefits.
I have two partners in this work. Neither one owns a home or a car.
I don’t have the respect of my peers. On the contrary, I am quite literally shunned by my church – and not for cussing, fornicating, drinking, looking at porn or any of the regularly forgiven things other pastors and ministers get a pass for all the time. No. I am shunned specifically because I insist the church open her door to the poor and just throw a party for them, like Jesus plainly instructs in Luke 14.
I do not attend scholarly conferences; I do not get on TV; the newspapers do not interview me, and I am NEVER asked to speak in front of ANY groups at church or in the academy.
Yet one of the criticisms leveled at me by those who shun me is that I am proud.
This by people who actually do have all the respectable things I just listed off which I do not.
And finally, I have a regular readership here of maybe about 10 people. Almost none of them local, but rather spread out in backwoods pockets all over this earth. The influence this work has does not show any measure on any metric I know of.
Let’s face it: Fat Beggars School of Prophets is NOTHING unless or until God says so.