My Future Church
I have written before how I feel I am being called to be a pastor. At first, I thought I might be a spiritual director or hospital chaplain and while these two ministries may deal largely in my call as pastor, I am feeling called to pastor a church.
This Tuesday, I will go in front of the leaders of my church and submit myself for the first step of the ordination process. I will post my reasons for taking this step and the results of that meeting. In this post, I would like to describe the type of church I would like to pastor. I will be beginning a new series where weekly, I write a letter to my future church. Writing letters to churches are an important part of the Christian faith. The New Testament letters are exactly that.
These letters will be about the process I am in, the issues my current church are facing (both good and bad), the issues I am personally wrestling with (both good and bad), my hopes and prayers for my future church. I welcome your thoughts more than ever since you might be part of this future church. Now, I realize God may have a different community in the works for me to lead or be part of and even a different vocation than pastor for me. Some may even say I should stay in the present and not concentrate on the future. My intention in these letters is to write from the present to the future in hope for God’s glory to shine fully aware of the challenges and hurtles in my way.
Let me describe my future church. This is not set in stone, but a first rough hope of what kind of community I could and would lead. This has been in inspired at least in part by the 1001 Communities Movement in the PC (USA).
You can get more info on this from their webpage http://www.onethousandone.org/Home.aspx
It would non-traditional, come-as-you-are, everyone-is-welcome, open doors, open arms church, a place where everyone is invited to come and see how awesome Jesus is and how we should live in response to God’s all-inclusive, all-embracing love. I know how it feels not to belong to feel like that mismatched sock, not to have place where I fit, to be that purple marble in the bag of black and whites, so it would be important that everyone felt safe and welcome. A place where non-believers and believers could gather to learn more and more about who God is and what it means to live a life with God.
I can see this community housed in a coffee shop or bookstore and not a regular church building. During the week we would be open just like a normal business and conduct our bible studies out in the open, we would go out in the communities and do service projects and on Sunday be closed and hold a worship service right where during the week we did our business. Our worship would be a weeklong thing not just the service on Sunday. Also, how we behaved and interacted during the week, how we did business and how we presented ourselves in and to the community.
It would of course be radical, evangelical, Protestant, and mystical. A reformed and reforming Christian church.
This is just a broad brushstroke of what that community would and will look like, but as I get closer and more prepared to begin and lead that community the more concrete the details will become.
Does this sound like the community you could be a part of?