Sunday, March 24, 2013

A Stirring...

I have had a stirring in my soul recently... 

Today, I took a moment to pray and ask God why I was feeling this way.  I waited and the following question came to mind, "Why am I a pastor?"

I wrestled with this question and my mind wandered to my life story - my relationships, my mistakes, my memories, my desperately lonely moments, my joyful times, everything.  I recalled God's interrupting of my life story with his grace and how he reset the trajectory of my life in a new direction.

I then recalled my time in seminary when God shaped a Biblical vision for the church through my studies, relationships and experiences.  In particular, I recalled my studies in Missional Theology and the vision of the church as the people of God sent as witnesses to engage every person with the good news of Jesus Christ.

I realized today that this God-given vision had somehow become cloudy in my heart and mind.

Mentors and leaders from the past shared with me how I could easily lose track of this vision during the daily tasks associated with full-time church ministry.  They cautioned me to resist "playing church" by simply going from one week to the next without letting God stir things up.

I received a wake-up call tonight. 

I don't know what God is going to do with this stirring in my soul but I am ready to find out.

There are hurting people all around me.
There are people who do not know that God has not given up on them.
There are marriages falling apart.
There are children who hate their parents (and parents who hate their children).
There are men who are trapped in pornography, alcohol and addictions.
There are women who feel isolated and lost without a true friend to walk with them.
There are those who have been hurt by churches (and pastors like me!)
There is a young generation that doesn't care about the church.
There is an older generation that is growing bitter because nobody seems to care.
There are hurting people all around me.

All of us need to know that God hasn't given up on us.
All of us need grace.
All of us need restoration...

Am I going to sit back?
Am I going to wait for someone else to act?
Am I going to choose to swim in mediocrity?
Or am I going to humbly get on my knees and ask God for his wisdom and direction for how to be a part of his mission to share his love with a desperate world?

I am asking God to raise up individuals and groups who don't want to "play church" but want to humbly look to Jesus for his direction in order to participate in his mission in this world.

I am stirred up.  

Are you...?