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September 27, 2006

More in WSJ on creative law enforcement

Today's Wall Street Journal print edition has a front page article on a novel approach to cleaning up drug markets. The article describes a program that confronts dealers with their crime, threatens them with prosecution, and offers them a second chance. Officers root out the dealers in a community and build relationships with their "influencers" -- mothers and grandmothers among them. They gather evidence for a slam-dunk case, then get the influencers to convince the dealers to come in for a meeting. At the meeting, the dealers meet community leaders and pastors who promise to help and support them if they go straight -- and then they get to see the irrefutable case against them and learn that if they fail to clean up their act they will be aggressively prosecuted. The program is aimed at young, nonviolent offenders and is enjoying substantial success where it is being used.

The willingness of local churches to hold these young men and women accountable and to support them in their quest for transformation is key. According to the article, when a pastor speaking to program participants said, "We are against what you're doing, but we're for you," one 19-year-old remarked, "We wasn't expecting that...It did make an impression on me." Over and over again, the article talked about how churches had an effect on the lives of these men and women -- and how the lack of churches in a community led to less than stellar results from the program.

Kudos to the churches participating in this program, and others like it. We need more churches willing to roll up their sleeves and help people who want to make a change, remembering that we were once in their shoes, desperately needing a little grace (Eph 2:1-5).

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Rather than avoiding the issues of our community with a luke-warm version of the gospel we need to become bold and courageous and confront (with the Love of God) in order to restore and reconcile the lost to Christ. We need more churches live the one described in the article to stand up declaring we have drawn a line in the sand -- were we will help you to cross over to The (better) Way.

Jonathan Fitzner

What an example of Jesus being fleshed out here and now! You inspire me. Godspeed my courageous brothers and sisters.


This site let Fellow Christains in the community express themselves..Hats Off2U. My comment is very Brief Your artical from the wall street was very insightful, also My church is doing simular things in the community(PraiseTempleFGC) It takes us all to help and support, But only that person has to want help....The GenesisFactor Program offers ex- offenders & their families assitance. They help with education-jobs-training-and housing... This is a Good Christain Program in Shreveport,La.....


kudos to the wsj for mentioning the "c" word on their front page...church

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