This will be, in all probability an intensely personal post.
I was saved in April 1995 and began to preach in June of the same year. In that time, I have experienced so many facets of the John 10:10 life that time would fail me to explain them. God has dropped opportunities in my lap that I could not even imagined existed prior to my salvation. I say this so that you don't think what follows is some sort of pity party, because it's not.
I preach, but I preach as a misfit. I preach, but I sometimes feel like I have so little in common with other preachers. I don't fit in. I'm not part of the club.
Street work shaped my spiritual life as much and as surely as factors in my upbringing shaped my physical life. Street work formed my opinions, and my approaches. Street work formed my conceptions of the ministry,and it also created what sometimes appears to be a vast chasm between me and other ministers.
I am not the hotshot young evangelist who preaches to adoring crowds who hang on my next salient point. I preach for free with out love offerings or recognition. My friends are few, and my co-labourers even fewer. Nobody is asking me to come in and 'revive' their people. I work outside the camp, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
God uses misfits and loneliness to hollow out a special place in your heart for him. The "man of sorrows" that was "acquainted with grief" knows exactly how you feel. When nobody appreciates you and nobody understands you, you are closer to the true ministry of Jesus Christ than you have any idea.
So send I you to labour unrewarded
To serve unpaid, unloved, unsought, unknown
To bear rebuke, to suffer scorn and scoffing
So send I you to toil for Me alone
So send I you to bind the bruised and broken
Over wandering souls to work, to weep, to wake
To bear the burdens of a world a-weary
So send I you to suffer for My sake
So send I you to loneliness and longing
With hart a-hungering for the loved and known
Forsaking kin and kindred, friend and dear one
So send I you to know My love alone
So send I you to leave your life's ambition
To die to dear desire, self-will resign
To labour long, and love where men revile you
So send I you to lose you life in Mine
So send I you to hearts made hard by hatred,
To eyes made blind because they will not see,
To spend, tho’ it be blood, to spend and spare not-
So send I you to taste of Calvary.