Sunday, May 17, 2009

50. Calling

We had a discussion tonight in our group about what we felt God was calling us too. Calling was defined sort of in two ways. Strongly speaking, it is something you feel like God wants you to pursue, and you may feel disobedient to him if you do not do it. Sort of a phone call. On a lighter note, calling is something you feel drawn to or oriented towards because of your values, gifting and passion. Sort of like a text message. Here are some of the things people in our group feel called to.

Grant - Mentor Youth (Social Justice) Creation Care - Communal Living

Phil - sustainability - The Harvest Network - Social Justice (Naz Garden) Facilitating and Building Community

Lana - Serving when needs arise (relational ambulance) College Ministry (CCSC)

Tiffany - The Harvest Network - Prayer

Jenna - Family - Mentoring New Moms - Sustainability, Simplicity, Natural Living - Serving Community (MOPS)

Tim - Start new Xian Communities - The Harvest Network - -site under construction, Prayer walks and rides, Writing book

Amanda - Communal living (proximity). Being a Spiritual Mom

We decided to:

1. Share more often and more frequently about these things we are already involved in, and how God is working in and through us and other people as we answer our calling.Both in our group meeting times and in our relationships.

2. Pray about how we think there may be some things we can do collectively as a group in the areas our callings overlap.

3. Pray for workers to be thrust out into the harvest field.

It is so cool to have these conversations. It is the body of Christ in action. So Magnificent!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

49. Out There

It is amazing what God is doing and saying through people all over this nation. every now and then you stumble on someones blog and you read their reflections about what they are involved in, what they see God doing, and what they see as being valuable and worth reproducing. It seems that God is unleashing a host of apostolic activity in America right now. Many of these voices are spread out and it is hard to connect the dots or even know where the dots are. It is a grass roots, bottom up thing, which tells me God is in charge of it and we are not.

Something I like about this movement is that it seems to be made up of people who despise "empire" styles of leadership. In other words, no one seems to want to control it, harness it or leverage it to build their own personal empire. It seems to be an empowerment movement. Some of this may be because the movement is being led from people with an apostolic gifting. We apostles hate doing the "pastor" thing. Don't stick us in the church cubicle, we need the wide open spaces of the frontier. We like the community, we just do not want to maintenance it.

I am thankful that these "new expressions" of christian community are surfacing. I often feel like there is not a place for me in the conventional style church. It is tough being on the fringe and not really having a support structure I also find it difficult to fit into my own faith heritage as well. The Church of Christ in my area seems so damn legalistic! There are definitely great Churches of Christ across the nation with a healthy theology, but for the most part, legalism seems to be the primary marker of the COC at this stage in the game It is sort of a double wammy, church expression and church tribe sort of put me out of reach for the time being.

It may sound like I am somewhat feeling sorry for myself. Honestly, sometimes I do sulk sulk and throw the pity party. The thing that keeps me on track is that I am on mission with the Father, and it is exactly where I want to be....out there on the fringe exploring the new frontier of apostolic activity.

Friday, May 08, 2009

48. Bus Ministry?

From time to time I visit several blogs of people who are involved in simple church expressions. One of those blogs is God Grown. Mark Willis is putting together a spiritual map of Chicago. I was inspired by some of the stories on the site and decided to start riding a public bus route once a week to pray for the people who get on the bus and the neighborhoods it rides through.

We went for the first time last week and it was........interesting to say the least. For one, we saw very different people. Second, the bus driver talked our ears off. Needless to say, we did not get much praying done. We will probably need to sit in the back of the bus next time!

It was great to get a pulse of the city and people who live in it. I am wondering if I need to get a "pray4clarksville" site going. I will put this to prayer.

A quick word on prayer. We do not have the power in us to see the Kingdom come. Prayer is a confession of our weakness and frailty. We are not the magicians of the Harvest. It is The Lord of the Harvest we need to be talking to. Dependency on God is a mark of apostolic activity.

But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task? Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, like men sent from God...Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. II Corinthians 2-3

I wonder what would happen if people began to pray the Luke 10:2 prayer on-site with in-sight. Praying locally with love, all that stuff. Could God be leading you to pray more focused and intentionally for people? I think we all know the answer to that one.