(Formerly Christianity and Psychology ‘Social Sciences’)
The second question in this series definitely hinges upon my answer to the first, and wouldn’t be complete without and understanding of the first. If you aren’t following, you can read it for yourself here. So to cut to the chase here’s the next installment.
Q. Did your past experiences with drugs and jail affect the decision to enter social work?
A. I’d say there’s very little doubt regarding the implications of my past life and actions on my future decisions. I don’t believe there can be an honest admission on my part that proves my past experiences as being the motivating factor to make a decision. If anything, they played a significant role in which particular community I would serve and work among. Its would also serve well to observe that I may have been pursuing the social work profession in my academic track, but have never cognitively made an absolute decision to be a “Social Worker” in vocation. It seems that all events leading up until now have been the main motivation.
If it were to be narrowed down to a point of making a sincere effort to have the end result be me practicing as a degreed worker I can think of one aspect of my life. This would be doing ministry in the city of Detroit. While evangelizing the homeless community in the downtown district I noticed one common denominator amongst all the individuals spoken too. They all needed so much and had access to so little. The past experiences I personally endured gave me evidence to backup the theory that there are resources out there for individuals who had needs similar to theirs. It was only a matter of directing them, advocating for them, and teaching them how to utilize the hand-ups available to become retroactive in their own lives. In turn, believing that it would inspire them to do the same. This has been proven theory in my life and through the lives of others I’ve encountered.
The last aspect I’ll touch on in this question is the most important one. Resources and access to them are useless unless the individual is returned to a right relationship with the Savior Jesus Christ. So many people rail against the social dynamics involved in urban ministry and denounce it as a “socialized gospel” when in fact there is no realization that they are denouncing a true manifestation of gospel ministry. The incarnation and obedience to Christ’s two commandments, loving God, and loving our neighbors. This love isn’t just a bowl full of soup. It’s obedience to the great commission (Loving God through obedience and proclaiming the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ for the payment of sins) and loving our neighbor as ourselves (through physical testimony of the inner working of the Holy Spirit who has regenerated the depraved state of man) shown through good works done by the means of faith and gratitude to a risen Savior.