Weeping With Gang Members

Eight years ago, when I became a full-time pastor, I could never have imagined how many tears I would shed over people—or how God would use those tears.

A good friend who has pastored for almost three decades in one of the most violent neighborhoods in our country introduced me to what he calls "Jesus' ministry of tears." "Coach," as everyone knows him, is one of the most vulnerable pastors I know. "A week does not go by in which I do not weep aloud with people at their brokenness," he told me.

Our church is in Little Village on Chicago's west side. It is the largest Mexican community in the Midwest. We also have the youngest demographic in the city. Unfortunately, many of our young neighbors end up involved in gangs and victims of the violence that comes with it.

Touching lepers

One afternoon I was invited to lead a prayer vigil for a young man who had been gunned down by the rival gang. As I made my way to the house where I would ...

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