We spent the weekend with some delightful friends. We had fun on the beach, swam in the pool, enjoyed a great dinner at one of our favorite Marco places, Snook Inn, and had fun taking some silly sunset pics of each other : )
They made a huge brunch one day, and as we were enjoying it, we got to talking about my blog. Or maybe more accurately, my passion behind my blog. A blog is a blog… but the passion behind it? Well, I’ve got a bit of that. : ) There is something the Christian kingdom desperately needs! (says every person passionate about something! : ))
Our friend had an insight that was simultaneously helpful and frustrating. I have all this crazy passion welled up inside of me. But my challenge is getting it out. This blog has been totally helpful for me to start to put words to a paradigm shift. But sometimes I get frustrated – I wish I were farther down the road than I am. I wish I had more clarity in putting words to my message. There is the huge thing I think can totally change our worlds, but I really struggle with how to best convey it. The boiled down version. The summary. Pardon the sometimes negative connotation, but the ‘elevator speech,’ if you will. Putting my passion into concise, meaningful words.
As we were brainstorming a bit, one of the ideas we came up with was to just kind of ‘see if it catches on.’
I’ve had two totally conflicting responses to that. At times, the advice is peaceful and wise. Follow where the Lord leads at His pace and enjoy the journey. Let it catch on as He sees fit. Yet at other times, I wonder what would have happened if Martin Luther King, Jr., had decided to keep floating the civil rights message out there, and just see if it catches on”!
There is this crazy tension between knowing it’s got to unfold in the Lord’s timing in a way that is receivable and flows with life events. You certainly can’t overly orchestrate some of the opportunities, like Rosa Parks’ bus boycott. They’ve just got to unfold and happen. So there is a helpful, peaceful, wise, chill element of ‘just see if it catches on.’ But there is also an inciting element. A passion that it *has* to catch on!
But my passion sounds crazy. It sounds irrelevant. It sounds detached. It sounds like it’s for ‘those’ people. It took me almost a decade of wrestling with the Lord and a good 3 years to accept it. But in actuality, it happens so crazy often in the church. It unexpectedly, often unintentionally, and often unknowingly destroys people. The Enemy has been crazy successful in his deception. And we’ve got to triumph.
I’d love to help us see it clearly and quickly. And I think with one small tweak, we can get this right. But how to put it into words?
My challenge is this: the best way I can describe my passion so far is to eradicate verbal abuse in the Christian kingdom. These are the best words I have so far. But they seem so crazy! And they sound so irrelevant. Eradicate verbal abuse? I definitely need words that connect better! Ones that wouldn’t have taken me 3 years to accept! One that wouldn’t have taken me 10 years to see! This verbal abuse stuff is everywhere – especially during election season! : ) It’s insidious and destructive. And if we can simply better, more palatably recognize it, draw boundaries against it, and focus on the healthy, wise stuff – wouldn’t that be delightful? Oh I crave such health in the kingdom! How it would flourish!
I believe it’s what the Christian kingdom desperately needs. Coming from the perspective of a church ‘insider,’ we spend way too much time, money, energy, resources, meetings, staff time, volunteer time, emotions, and life!, on unnecessary, fabricated, hurtful conflict. It depletes our energy. It consumes our resources. It wastes our tithes. It impairs our teammates – emotionally, spiritually, and physically. It distracts us from our mission. It helps Satan. Yuck. And it makes us – and the gospel – unnecessarily unpalatable to unbelievers. The stakes are huge. We have got to do this well.
And we can. We can change all that. And it actually isn’t that hard. Or complicated. And it actually requires less work – not more. It’s a tiny shift that allows a huge change. If we simply do less, we will have healthier church cultures, healthier relational dynamics, healthier ‘loving one another,’ and a healthier, more attractive – because it is more biblical, spot-on, gospel-centered! – Christianity.
Do less and have a healthier church culture? Yes, please.
Devote our energy towards positive things for the kingdom? Sign me up!
Not help the devil? Um, yep. Pretty obvious there.
The stakes seem so obviously worth it. With a small but significant tweak, we can make that happen.
This is totally my passion… and my tension.
Praying for ideas, resources, insights, feedback. If you’ve got any to toss my way, I’d love your input!
Thanks for journeying with me : ) You are a blessing!