As part of our 2018 rebranding, I wrote about the four ways followers of Jesus try to move people from human suffering to human flourishing: (1) humanitarian aid, (2) disaster relief, (3) community development, and (4) life transformation. This fourth one is the undertaking of rescue missions and similar ministries that focus on breaking the bonds of destructive habits, bad decisions (made by or forced upon the person), and/or enslaving conditions. I described the breadth of life transformation work with 7 “S” words. The depicting diagram has appeared in several Citygate Network publications and I’ve recently seen it blown up and placed on the conference room walls of some member organizations I’ve visited.
Well, don’t laminate it quite yet. After contemplating it for the last several months, I’ve reached the conclusion that another “S” should be added, for proper emphasis. It could be argued that this new “S” is inherent in each of the other seven, but I think that going forward, it needs its own billing. The eighth “S” is Schooled. Here is how it works in partnership with the other “S” words:
Saved (making choices that will keep them from chronic illness and physical death, and making the decision that will keep them from spiritual death);
Sober (no longer controlled by stimulants or depressants);
Stable (mentally and emotionally balanced and enjoying good health);
Schooled (enriched with fundamental knowledge to be competent and competitive);
Skilled (being academically credentialed and set on a career path);
Secure (able to provide financially for themselves and their loved ones);
Settled (benefitting from having the same safe place of their own to stay every night); and
Serving (giving back to the community through missional living).
At the Citygate Network office, we are already working to make sure this “S” is well supported. We are collaborating with Adult and Teen Challenge to get their Intimacy with Purpose personal studies series into your hands, as well as their significant group studies curriculum. And Vice President Justin Boles is in the process of finalizing a partnership with the Chalmers Center, which has great material for helping students and clients understand and manage finances and approach reentry into the job market.
I encourage you to look at all of these “S” words to make sure your mission or ministry has them covered or is collaborating with another organization that is providing what’s needed for your guests, students, and clients. And if you now need a new poster for your conference room wall, you can download it right here. We might even be able to get you some lamination supplies.