Where would Jesus live?
Will and Shawna Tucker, with their three precious children, leave for Uganda on April 4, to live with and to serve the Ankole people in the name of Jesus. This young family is, and always will be, a vital part of the Brentwood Hills family. I briefly mentioned them Sunday night as “living illustrations” of these familiar but challenging words of Jesus:
If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.—Matthew 16:24
Since Sunday night I’ve learned of two other young families, both in Memphis and both with deep Brentwood Hills roots, who have relocated (or are about to relocate) to live with and to serve people in the name of Jesus.
Several months ago, Lynsi (daughter of David and Debbie Tucker) and Randy Hartman relocated to Binghampton, a low-income, urban neighborhood in Memphis with a well-documented history of crime. Here’s a glimpse from their perspective:
In God's great mercy, He has sent disciples to live amongst the poor, ministering to them in obedience to Jesus. All we want is to glorify God, and by taking a few risks He has given us an abundance of opportunities to serve the least of these. Our weeks consist of: mentoring a group of adolescent refugees from Burundi, Africa; earning the trust of our Muslim neighbors in order to teach them about Jesus; coaching and playing sports with neighborhood kids; leading a bilingual house church; and, of course, fellowship with brothers and sisters on the "front porch" (back porches are for the suburbs). We never know what to expect, but we know that God is in control.
Early next month, Stacy (daughter of Rick and Cindy Betts) and Jim Hinkle will also move to the Binghampton community. Though their move was not coordinated with the Hartmans, they’ll be living directly across the street from Randy and Lynsi. Read why they feel called to make this move:
We’ve got a great life! We have a loving family, supportive church, high-achieving schools and a safe, friendly suburban neighborhood. However, we’ve felt more and more over the last five years that we have sometimes equated a “comfortable life” with a “great life”. The more we’ve tried to imitate Jesus, the more we’ve been drawn into uncomfortable places. We have felt God leading us to sell our home in the suburbs and move into an impoverished neighborhood in the heart of Memphis. The Jesus we read about in the Gospels cares deeply about broken people and broken communities. The more we’ve tried to love and serve the marginalized in Memphis, the more we’ve become convinced that it’s hard to love a broken neighborhood when you live outside it. One of the main reasons we are so compelled by the Christ story is because He came to us and made his dwelling among us. We are hoping that our willingness to be neighbors in Binghampton (our new neighborhood) will allow us to move beyond fear, stereotypes, and pity, and empower us to become friends.
Church of Christ
5120 Franklin Road
Nashville, Tennessee 37220
Phone: (615) 832-2541
Fax: (615) 832-2583