Initiative topic for today: LOVE
When the word “strippers” is said what do you first think of? Probably not ministry. Our world has been trained to think of them as objects, not fellow human beings. This is not how Jesus sees them at all and neither should we; they are his children.
Jesus Said Love is an incredible organization founded by Brett and Emily Mills. In 2003, Brett and Emily led worship for a conference focused on ministry to sex workers. Overwhelmed by stories from former exotic entertainers, Emily became burdened for the marginalized in Waco. Upon their return home, emails were sent, vision was cast. Very soon after, Jesus-loving women, loaded up with gift bags, ventured into two Waco strip clubs. It was a success! Each club manager offered open-door invitations for them to return anytime!
For three years the women went to clubs bi-annually: Christmas and Easter. In 2006, the name Jesus Said Love was adopted for this specific program. The heart is to reach out to those who feel like they have been rejected or unloved by the church.
“What began as a bi-annual outreach in Waco has now grown into a full time ministry of monthly club outreach events, social work assistance, education, awareness, medical, educational, child care and nutritional advocacy in Waco, Dallas, Bryan/College Station, and San Antonio.”
The Goal of Jesus Said Love
This ministry is incredibly important. You have the opportunity to empower women and remind them they are loved, no matter their circumstance or profession. You get the opportunity to introduce them to a new future, not just for them, but their children as well (if they have them). Jesus Said Love is an organization that does not love women with strings attached, for their ministry is not based on conditions. They simply go and love. The Lord continues to bless them in their obedience.
The main goal:
- GO: We visit strip clubs every month and bring high quality gift bags to dancers and club employees
- LOVE: We build intentional relationships with dancers and club employees without strings attached. We love them where they are.
- CONNECT: We connect them to helpful community and spiritual resources that empower and awaken hope.
One of the huge goals is to make sure the relationships are kept healthy. They have some people that physically go into the clubs, and have a men’s security team as well. It is important to have people who are good with the management. There are people who specifically love on the bouncers, and even the DJ’s that spin there! Not one person at the strip clubs goes unnoticed and unloved.
The loving includes baking, hospitality, child care and so much more. These women just need some help sometimes, who doesn’t? Connecting is the social work aspect. It connects them to resources: doctor, lawyer, colleges, education, etc. All of those things are needed in this ministry. If you are BREATHING you are qualified. You never know what could be needed! When it comes to reaching out to people involved with strip clubs (bouncers, DJ’s, strippers themselves) it’s all about creating relationship.
They have a LOVE team that is a great place to start! It’s a group of both men and women that make up multiple teams. Within each team, they put together gift bags for club outreaches, gather for times of prayer on outreach nights and assist with JSL events such as dancer baby showers, and help accomplish many other things that may come up! The LOVE team is just as important as the people going into the clubs. Everyone plays a part!
To volunteer, go to http://jesussaidlove.com/volunteer!