I sit here in the quietness of the moment, having neglected this blog for the last few days so that I may live life. Imagine that. Oh, I have been online here and there. But not long enough to write a post. Work, church ministry responsibilities, basketball camp, and life all interrupted my ability to put into writing the many thoughts which have been generated in recent weeks. But there are three things which have remained securely postured in my thinking; three questions which have come to wield significant power, causing me to reflect deeply on children’s ministry, church, and life.
Some of my readers may recall that over the years I asked questions pertaining to those issues. In 2001, it was, “Why do we do children’s ministry the way we do it?” In 2004, it was, “Why do we do church the way we do it?” In 2007, I began to ask, “Why do we do life the way we do it?”
And now, in the latter part of 2009, I find myself in the midst of a season of questioning, searching, shedding of assumptions, and simplifying expectations and hopes. It would take too long to explain in a single post. And I am not ready yet to try. I still have much to process, much to think through. It impacts all three areas, not least the whole of life. You know. The way we live. The impact that expectations from church have on the rest of our lives and vice-versa. Our responsibilities to family, friends, church, the community, the lost, those who hate us, yet whom we are called to love anyway….
For a long while I felt pressure to somehow emulate those who have “made it” in ministry. You may supply your own definition for what “made it” might mean. It really doesn’t matter, because for the last few years I have been over it. I do not aspire to get a full-time job at a church somewhere. I do not aspire to be a religious employee of any kind of organization. I know some people who would gasp and warn me of hindering my own job opportunities in the future if some prospective employer should read this. They would speak of what a waste it is to do all of that work in school with nothing to show for it. You know, me being just a warehouseman at a carpet store and all. But I don’t see it that way. In the workplace and in the community, I now have a continuing world of opportunity to demonstrate the love of Jesus as a thoughtful practitioner who has experienced rigorous study, but who is connected meaningfully with those whom Jesus wants me to love.
The power of questions has led me down this path. I love my friends who are employed by churches and other Christian organizations. I value their input into my life. I admire what they do, both in scale and caliber. Somedays I even wish I had their talent, smarts and charisma. But I am just me, sort of a Sam Gamgeeish character, only taller and chubbier, slightly more flawed, and terrible at keeping plants alive. And I am okay with that.
Are you okay with whom God has made you to be? Not that we are finished. There is something to be said for contentment which does not give way to complacency, but inspires us to be all God intended for us to be. Maybe that is the true power of questions.