I say that in jest . . . kinda.
I received two great emails today.
This is from a friendís dad who is the clerk of the YM elders. Heís been a fantastic advocate for those looking to live authentically, whether it be inside the box or outside.
Greetings. I’m reading a book I think you wrote using the pseudonym Reggie McNeal! It’s called The Present Future
Isnít he great? He sent me some quotes, and I couldnít agree more: it was like reading my thoughts, only put together in understandable, knowledgeable, and eloquent terms (Iím more of a Virginia Wolfe – random streams of consciousness writer: word limits really cramp my style). Dave mentioned that this might be helpful in bridging an understanding between traditional and non-traditional folks. Go there – read – give feedback pleaseandthankyou.
So now Iíve got Andrew Jones in my bloglines… Did you read his link to this article about Alan Hirschís new book on the church in China? Then, did you read the comments? Holy cow! Maybe our call to this stuff AND to stay inside the church is part of the move toward integration!?! (But I do tend to have a much too high opinion of myself, so maybe itís just wishful thinking.)
Now, Gregg is one of the last people who has too high an opinion of himself – he is a wonderful model of servant leadership (well, at least in my experience: I donít know how hip he is to doing dishes at home ðŸ™‚ ).
What made me laugh about both of these emails is the content. Present Future talks about how our church structure is flawed – Dave is the clerk of our YM elders (facilitating those who oversee our denominational structure). Dangerous Stories points out that the church in China is flourishing despite (because?) of a lack of leadership; their pastors and leaders are outlawed, the church is disbanded, and yet itís flourishing despite all odds – Gregg is the pastor to one of our most established churches.
What I *love* about these two individuals is that they are drawn to this sort of stuff, they resonate with it. They see the problems within our structure, and rather than having the selfish desire of self-preservation, of ensuring their personal security and status, they ultimately desire to seek out Godís will – to put Godís Kingdom work above their own. God doesnít seem to intend that a work always exist: sometimes they need to be laid aside. We can either move in harmony with His spirit, or we can fight it and become the anemic church that currently exists.
What is God asking you to look at differently, to lay aside? At what cost? Will you respond?