LRM is an evangelical Christian ministry committed to the Scriptures, the Bible, as the divinely inspired revelation of God.
It is from the Scriptures that LRM statements of faith, core values and Philosophy of Ministry are created. In addition to the following statements of faith, core values and Philosophy of Ministry, LRM adheres to the basic tenants of the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 (BFM 2000), produced by the Southern Baptist Convention as well as the proclamations and expectations outlined in the LRM Articles of Incorporation and By Laws.
The following statements identify core values under which LRM operates:
- We commit to obedience to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and to God’s inerrant Word.
- We believe Jesus Christ is God’s only provision for salvation and all people without personal faith in Him are lost and will spend eternity in hell.
- We seek to provide all people an opportunity to hear, understand and respond to the Gospel.
- We evangelize through proclamation, discipleship, equipping and ministry that results in followers of Christ.
- We partner with churches that are committed to the Great Commission and in bringing all people to faith in Jesus Christ.
- We serve churches to facilitate their involvement in conducting Gospel-focused mercy ministry in the Louisville metro area.
Philosophy of Ministry
The purpose of the Louisville Rescue Mission (LRM) ‘Philosophy of Ministry’ is to establish a stable consensus regarding our understanding of ministry to the homeless and hurting in our community. This declaration is for all staff, board members, volunteers, strategic partners, and any other supporters of LRM.
Louisville Rescue Mission exists to proclaim the gospel and extend God’s mercy to the homeless and hurting of the greater Louisville area in support of the local church. Since 1881, LRM has remained firmly anchored to our biblical foundation and committed to fulfilling our mission with those we serve. The following Philosophy of Ministry outlines the authority and framework by which LRM proclaims the gospel and extends mercy ministry.
What is the authority of the Bible?
LRM was founded upon and carries gospel-centered mercy forward under the rule and authority of God’s revelation as found in the Holy Bible. We believe the Bible was written by men under the divine inspiration of the Holy Spirit and thus is the true, trustworthy, inerrant and authoritative Word of God. LRM believes the Bible speaks to all aspects of the life of humanity including sin, brokenness, separation and death yet also declaring God’s plan of reconciliation through the person and work of Jesus Christ. The Bible provides instruction for the Christian and calls the un-Christian to repentance and faith. Thus, we depend on the Bible to speak the gospel into the lives of homeless and hurting men and women hoping for a response that includes repentance and faith in Christ, commitment to holiness under the standards set forth by God in the Bible and connection with fellow believers through the local church.
What is the gospel?
The gospel is the good news that Jesus the Son of God came into our lost, dying, sinful, and broken world in order to redeem a people for himself from every nation, tribe, tongue, and language. Humanity is born into a world that is sinful and broken because we have all rejected our Creator God’s loving authority. Because of our rejection of God, we experience the misery of sin and the brokenness of our world and we deserve God’s eternal wrath and judgment. All the sorrow and misery of our world can be traced back to our own rejection of God.
But our merciful God did not leave us to perish in misery! He sent His own Son Jesus into the world to live without sin and in obedience to God’s rule. Although Jesus lived perfectly and did not deserve to die or suffer under God’s wrath, He did just that. He suffered under the weight of God’s wrath at the cross and gave up his life in death. On the third day He rose from the grave showing that he victoriously conquered both sin and death. Jesus freely offers salvation to anyone and everyone who will repent, leaving behind their life of rebellion against God and believing in him for the forgiveness of their sins. At LRM, we believe that this gospel must be absolutely central to any efforts to help broken and sinful humanity. There is no lasting and eternal fix for brokenness and sin apart from this gospel.
Why is the gospel important?
We believe that any effort to help and serve the homeless and hurting that does not proclaim the gospel fails to address the central need of all human beings: their separation from God. Misery such as homelessness exists in part because of the effects of living in a fallen world that is separated from God. Homelessness and hurting of this world are a complex problem that involves many levels of brokenness including societal, familial, personal, and spiritual. Our sincere desire is to address every area of brokenness, including spiritual and in so doing address homelessness holistically.
We recognize that it is not just the homeless who are broken and sinful but all humanity. We do not come offering help from a proud pedestal of success and “arrival”. Rather, we extend mercy knowing how we ourselves have received mercy and sincerely desire to help and serve others in the name of Christ the way we ourselves have been helped and served in the name of Christ.
What is gospel-centered mercy?
Gospel centered mercy is our way of saying that we think the gospel must be the non-negotiable center in our efforts to serve the homeless and hurting. We recognize that all human beings are broken and sinful and that brokenness and sin reveal themselves in different ways for each individual but ultimately all brokenness and sin is rooted in the heart. Thus, we believe true heart change that comes only through the saving grace offered in the gospel will produce lasting change. We ourselves have been saved by Jesus and are continually being repaired in the power of the Holy Spirit. We show mercy in response to God’s mercy shown to us. We offer cups of cold water in Jesus’ name. We offer food, shelter, clothes, and various services in Jesus’ name. We offer programs and support to move men and women out of homelessness all in Jesus’ name. We believe that Jesus can save and repair any human being and so we offer gospel-centered mercy to the homeless and hurting in the hope that Jesus will continue saving his people in the world.
What is the local church?
The local church is Jesus’ strategy for advancing his gospel among all the nations. Local churches are gatherings of believers who together pursue the mission that Jesus gave them: making disciples among all the nations. LRM recognizes the central place of the local church in Jesus’ purposes for the world. The board, staff, and volunteers at LRM are themselves active members of local churches and we strategically place ourselves as a bridge to the local church for the homeless and hurting. With our services, facilities, and resources, we engage the homeless and hurting, provide concentrated resources and skills to address their brokenness and ultimately hope to move them out of homelessness and into meaningful lives lived in healthy relationships with society, their family, and Jesus. This means encouraging and supporting involvement and membership in local churches. Men and women cannot work through their brokenness and sin in isolation and Jesus has designed the local church to be the context where the gospel is evidenced in relationships with one another and love for the world. LRM comes alongside the local church, supports the local church in its mission of making disciples, and strengthens the local church by encouraging and providing resources to serve the homeless and hurting of our city.