uhhh… yep.

22 07 2008

For the past several weeks/months I’ve been asked the same question [in different forms] over and over. The questions has come from the whole ranges of ages – I’ve been asked by youth… by folks my own age… and by older adults. The question? “So you want to be a preacher?”

Partly because I’m not sure they’ll completely understand, and partly because I’m typically asked when I haven’t adequate time to answer/explain, I simply answer, “Yep.” (Usually followed with a little, nervous laugh).

The truth?

Yes, I hope to be a “preacher” … to a degree. But hopefully that’s not all. I’ve only really preached a few times, but I believe my preaching can be adequate. Maybe not great; hopefully not bad either… but adequate.

I have a dream of being a part of a church/community where there are multiple teaching pastors (“preachers”) – of which I am one. …but not the only one.

I fear working in isolation. I believe it is dangerous and an obstacle to creativity (for myself, anyway). For that reason I hope to never work alone again… I think my ego is small enough (and God’s grace is big enough).

I hope to be a part of a church/community in which we are actively developing and growing and changing our understanding of “community” – both inside and outside of the church. So while I hope to be a “preacher,” I also hope to be something of a community developer. I’ll admit that I’m not completely sure what that means, but these words come to mind…

“Part of the role of the church in the past was – and could and should be again – to foster and sustain lives of beauty and aesthetic meaning at every level, from music making in the village pub to drama in the local primary school, from artists’ and photographers’ workshops to still-life painting classes, from symphony concerts to driftwood sculptures.” [N.T. Wright, Surprised by Hope]

“We believe Genesis Chapter 1 – that every man and every woman is made in God’s image; and we will not keep quiet about this. For Jesus came to bring liberation. He came to bring liberation to the slave, to the blind. He came to bring liberation spiritually and emotionally and physically and vocationally and educationally. And we will become the hubs of our communities. And we will speak to a world that’s waited. Of a God who is love and who is on your side and will not let go of you.” [Steve Chalke, Stop the Traffik]

There was a time in my life when I was growing cynical about the church… when all I could see were the things that were wrong. But I’ve found that the cynicism has been – and continues to be – replaced by hope. I am seeing the good of the church; and seeing the potential. I truly believe the church is, and can be more so, beautiful.

I’ve come to the conclusion that the worst reason to pursue a career is for money and/or prestige. …and also that to pursue a career based on something you like, enjoy, or are good at is a decent reason. But I think the best reason to pursue something is because you’ve found it is worth giving your life to. (And this can be something different for everyone… it could be music, art, science, business, healthcare, …).

For me, the Church is worth giving my life to. It’s something I believe in.

For the last several years I’ve been keeping a little black book with some thoughts. I’ve titled the book “I dream of a church where….” and it includes some good ideas; no doubt some bad ones; and probably some ridiculous ones too. Most of the ideas really aren’t mine either… but have come from friends, folks at Rush Church, and other people I’ve never actually met.

Hopefully at some point in the future some of these ideas and thoughts will come into place. Here are a few…

  • Everyone is connected (every person is connected with multiple other people)
  • We have frequent cookouts and picnics for the surrounding neighborhoods
  • We take two weeks off during the summer to road-trip as a church (That’s one of my favorites… and also one that could be labeled “ridiculous”)
  • Historic Orthodox Christian Faith
  • All of the ministries and pastors are deeply connected
  • We have resources that we share as a community – lawn mowers, tools, cameras, etc.
  • Avoid the “Good to see you again. we’ll see you next week” effect
  • The people of the church (members) create the ministries based on their passions, and the church leaders support it (encouragement, financially, etc.). Not: the leaders create ministries and get people to join them. (think Imago Dei; Portland, OR)
  • What if church was like a giant recovery group? (Or at least part of church). “What are you recovering from?” “Life”
  • What if confirmation class was for the whole family – child, father, and mother. (Wish I would have thought about this before our class started)
  • We teach/practice ancient disciplines – sacred meal, fasting, tithing, fixed hour prayer, Sabbath, the seasons, pilgrimage

So, those are just a few thoughts/ideas I have written down. Nothing ground breaking or terribly insightful… but they’re a start of something.

So… I want to be a preacher?

…uhhh… yep. …

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4 responses

26 07 2008
Anonymous

Isn’t She beautiful?!

26 07 2008
mlbeck

Dude,I just moved over to wordpress.

26 07 2008
Phil

Working as part of a team…what a crazy idea!

14 08 2008
mlbeck

Tim stop playing Settlers and blog!

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