Situation one: I’m reading a whole bunch of church planter blogs, sharing fantastic stuff about growth and vision and reaching folks who seem to ache for the presence of God. They’re passionate; they’re excited; they’re real and not scared of taboo subjects; they’ve gone through good times and bad, acknowledge that, and continue on – all glorifying God.
Situation two: I’m looking at sites that talk about small group growth, groups of folks meeting together without a paid hierarchical leadership, organic growth. They’re talking about day-to-day relationships and community and accountability and training that relates to the practical rather than the theoretical.
Situation three: I’m reading blogs from my denomination praising and criticizing why it’s good to be a member. Some folks have been direct and critical in their assessment; many have responded by seeming to “draw in the ranks” – laud certain aspects of the denomination or proclaim that that characteristic is not a bad thing or ignore the state of the denomination. Instead of humbling, it seems to have caused some arrogant and prideful comments: not a whole lot of turning and repenting going on.
Situation four: I’m on a board for that denomination focusing on Local Outreach. We’re chatting on email about who we will support and how as a board: who qualifies for support? It’d be easier if we had some practical, present models to base that off of, but that seems to be lacking: how can we offer to be a resource when none of us seem to know of folks who need a resource?
Situation five: Hearing the praise of the characteristics of our denomination but seeing the lack of outreach/intentional practical application/praise and healing and thanksgiving and the Spirit/contagious spreading of the Word is causing a cynical nature to arise. I don’t know that I fully appreciate what I’ve been blessed with being raised in this denomination: but is that important? Bitterness is rising – not a good thing.
Situation six: I’m reading about praising God for everything. I’m reading about Prayer. I’m teaching about how to study the Bible: why, how, what’s the story (morning glory)? I’m reading about putting your child in time out and cooking seasonally and planning a budget and knitting for babies and American transcendentalism figures and how to balance marriage and parenthood (it’s not one big book, but many).
I feel a tug: a pull: an uneasiness that I place into an anxious inability to be still and know.
I want a vision.
I want to rest, retire, receive, respond.
I need to be present.
This all seems so hodge podge yet prominent in my life: can you sort it out? Do you feel it, too?