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When the homeless and mentally ill wander into your church

Mentally ill and homeless people wander into the church that I pastor on Sunday mornings, and I don’t know the best way to handle it.

There, I said it.

I am going to be gut-honest in this little reflection and will totally admit my own uncertainty and discomfort. This will risk incurring the wrath of everyone who has figured it out. But maybe I can get some helpful crowd-sourcing insights here.

First a bit of context. My church is in urban Atlanta. We are near enough to an Atlanta metro stop that it is easy for people to find their way to our church building from the subway. This is really important.

We also offer benevolence ministries during the week, so lots of very needy, homeless, and sometimes mentally ill people are in our building regularly.

We all have a script for these encounters. They seek help, we offer it,


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