Mission and church – I spent the morning at something of a book club (“Darryl’s book club”), looking at Reggie McNeal’s book The Present Future for clues on how a traditional church can be missional. Today we all got a bit frustrated at the lack of easy answers. Half of us argued that the solution is creating an environment for more mission and relationship in the church. Half argued that change starts with us; are we as individuals missional?
I don’t know what the answer is (change the system and change the people?) but I was struck by how much we wanted to jump to how-to solutions to fix the church. The reason this is so hard is because this goes beyond fixes. It goes to the heart.
Gardening – Somebody had the idea of logging our time this Saturday and taking it to church tomorrow to tell stories of how we spent our day, sort of to do a missional inventory. I spent the day gardening. I figure that is okay since that was the first job that God gave to Adam and Eve and gardens are pretty important to God. It’s also okay because tomorrow I hope to say you can garden without guilt. I’d hate to become a guilt-inducing church where you have to jog to mow your lawn so you can get back to spiritual stuff. (I know someone who used to do this.)
We bought our house, partly because we have a large yard. That backyard has never been cared for as much as its needed. This year we are making good progress. You don’t really need a cottage when you have a backyard our size.
We are really looking forward to getting it to the point where we can use it to entertain. That point is getting closer.
Neighborhood – I frequently wish I lived closer to church. It’s part of incarnational ministry. We bought our current house not just for the backyard, but because it moved us into the church’s community. Now we have moved to a different church, only 9 km away but still in a different neighborhood.
Tonight I walked down to the Italian restaurant at the end of the road. Our little neighborhood has experienced a bit of a renaissance. I was sitting in the restaurant waiting for the take-out, looking into the kitchen, taking in all the character of the place. It struck me that I love this neighborhood, I love this street, it has somehow become a part of me after 14 years. There is something to be said for learning to love living at your address, and settling in to be there and to bless there. Tonight that is how it felt.
Humility – I got a little defensive today. I sometimes manage to avoid it but I didn’t this time. Tomorrow is a new day to learn to be open to others, to welcome their insights, to even learn from them, but not to live or die by what they think. I have enough baggage; I don’t need to pick up anymore.