I just started my next to last class for my D.Min at Perkins - Spiritual Leadership in Missional Churches. One of our assignments is to keep a journal during the 2 weeks of class. I decided to blog mine...
My oldest son talked my wife into letting him get a mohawk...and then he looked mohawks up on wikipedia and learned that they're named after an American Indian tribe, are typically associated with warriors and apparently a really old cave man body was discovered at some point with the same haircut. That's what my son does when he gets excited about something, he learns everything he can about it. But it doesn't stop there - he internalizes and personalizes what he learns. He didn't just learn about mohawks, he got his mother to cut his hair that way.
I wish that more of us were like my son. He doesn't fall into the trap of paralysis by analysis. He's just as obsessive as I am (which brings me no small measure of pride) and will literally sit for hours on end reading things like an encyclopedia, fact book or his beloved world atlas. But then he devises games using the books and wants everyone to play with him; he shares what he learns with everyone else and creates different ways to put his newfound information into practice. (he even has a "learn something every day" blog - you should check out his post on mohawks).
Today we spent a good deal of time discussing different ways to introduce missional ecclesiology to a church, as well as potential contexts for connecting with non-Christians in missional ways. I've been thinking a lot about my own experiences with folks in both Mandeville and Burleson, as well as different churches and groups that have asked me to talk about this stuff with them.
Perhaps this is part of the whole "faith like a child" thing that Jesus talked about. We often talk about childlike faith in terms of innocence or simplicity. But maybe it is that wide-eyed desire to learn and grow and immediately apply what we discover. But just as with the question of salt loosing its saltiness, I wonder how do we regain our youthful excitement about and expectation for growth when its faded?
I've seen God break through these barriers in people's lives - including my own - I know for a fact that it can happen. It can happen in stubborn 20-somethings and it can happen in stubborn 60-somethings. I'm learning to embrace the mystery of how the Spirit breaks down these walls and I'm becoming more and more comfortable in my own helplessness. I am not an expert here to fix a congregation's problems or fix a spiritually confused sojourner. I am, as a wise friend says, simply one hungry beggar sharing bread with others.