Let me begin by saying, I have a great job. However, it is not always easy to explain what I do for a living. When I am on a plane and not feeling particularly social, I tell folks that I work for the church. This usually stops all conversation and provides me with uninterrupted quiet time during the flight.
This entry is not one of these times! In the space of one page or less I am going to attempt to tell you about DOOR. Here goes…
For any board members who may be reading this blog, I will begin by sharing the officially approved statement: “DOOR is a faith based network of urban service-learning programs that expose, educate, challenge, and motivate participants to respond to the issues and concerns facing an increasingly urban world. Program offerings range from a weekend to a year and include opportunities for individuals and groups.”
In its simplest form, DOOR invites people to come to the city to see what God is doing in that city. Before working at DOOR, the “inner city” was the place I brought my youth group to when they needed to learn about service and the poor. I would still agree that the city is a good place to learn about service and the poor, but it is also much more than that.
- In the city we learn that faith can be much more than a Sunday morning event or an annual mission trip.
- In the city we begin to see a more complete picture of what the kingdom of God looks like.
- In the city we learn to define ourselves by what we have in common before talking about how we are different.
DOOR facilitates these opportunities by connecting participants with local leaders, helping agencies and churches. We want people to “taste and see” the city. One of our former City Directors would often tell participants that “DOOR is not Disneyland.” Life in the city is not perfect, but if you take the time to look beyond the surface, you might be surprised by what you discover.
- Different is not always bad – sometimes it is just different. Jesus didn’t just come for people who worship like you, or understand the Bible like you, or eat the same kinds of food like as? you. The kingdom of God includes people who are different from you! “For God so loved the world” really means what it says.
- Everyone is rich and everyone is poor. Poverty is much more than economics; it takes on many forms. There are poverties of self-esteem, generosity, faith and the list could go on.
I really do have a great job. DOOR has opportunities for people to spend a week, a semester, or even a year in the city. I have the privilege of overseeing a network of six cities and the creative staff that run the DOOR program.