You may have heard of Rick McKinley. He pastors the church Donald Miller wrote about in Blue Like Jazz. Imago Dei in Portland, Oregon, reaches people who live on the margins. McKinley's book about the church (and all our churches) is called This Beautiful Mess (Multnomah, 2006). McKinley was interviewed in the Fall 2007 issue of Leadership. Here is an excerpt.
1. Did your church reach out to people on the margins from day one?
Not exactly. Early on we were just a small group, and when we started looking at the needs of the city, we had a very honest moment. We admitted that we didn't really want to love broken, sinful people; we didn't really want to love Portland.
We prefer safe and protected lives. Most of us don't want to know about the abuse some homeless vet went through and how he mentally snapped. If I'm honest I have to admit I don't want to know he exists. I'd rather not know.
But Jesus is ruthless. He's not ignoring the lepers and the people pushed into places where I don't have ...1