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...
Today was a good day...
I went on a field trip.
Its been a while, and in some ways it was reminiscent of my days of youth ministry (which are mostly positive memories!) All but one person in our class piled into a suburban to head out on a tour of some tremendous missional community development endeavors around Dallas. The remaining classmate followed behind in her car...well she tried to follow anyway. We didn’t exactly follow a logical path all the time, but that’s how journeys are, right?
Though I was terrified for everyone’s safety (yes, dear reader, even yours) at several points riding down I-35 with the Reverend James (just kidding...but seriously), it was good to have those brief moments of connection that inevitably accompany a road-trip - even a brief one.
Parts of the field trip made me a little sad - specifically I began missing the relational connections that we were forming with the community lunches we shared with Harvest House. But then I began thinking about the great things that are happening in Shenandoah - great things that we were blessed to play an early role in, but which have now taken off and flourished as a locally led and driven phenomenon.
I enjoyed seeing places like the Romero House and Christ Foundry - sacred places that I have heard about in stories but wanted to see with my own eyes. I have great hope and anticipation for the development of greater collaboration between our two movements.
But the really exciting part of the day for me were the conversations with new friends who are beginning to passionately explore ways in which the missional life can infect their own established church contexts (sorry Marci, I know you don’t like the virus language, but I find it incredibly appropriate!)
I listened as leaders began to adapt and even start over in their project proposal to incorporate the kingdom focused values we’ve been discussing. I hope and pray that under their leadership these bands of Christ’s disciples will witness radical transformation in their lives and in their neighborhoods and communities. I pray that God will bring them into contact with the spiritually confused sojourners that have been longing for someone walk alongside them in their search for meaning and significance. I beg our Father to throw open the floodgates of the kingdom and allow a fresh experience of vitality to sweep through the streets of their hometowns.
And I pray the same for ours.
Perhaps this is the most significant development in my own spiritual formation to date. I found myself just as excited - and in some ways, even more so - about what God may be planning to do in these other communities as I am for what I know is happening and will happen in our own.
Today I quote with hope and joy the lines from psalm 70, which have often been my cry of despair...O Lord come quickly to help us!