This morning I started another book (Quitting Church, Julia Duin) and I’m already through the first six chapters of it. For such a thick and emotionally sparking topic, I’m making my way through it pretty quickly – mainly because I can associate with the author’s memes, and the perspectives of those interviewed and quoted throughout.
As I’m reading, I’m reminded of a part of the conversation I had yesterday with one of the guys I disciple/mentor. Within the conversation, he remarked on just how he enjoyed the fellowship, and that the push to admonish one another Scripturally (we just wrapped up an in-depth conversation over the book of Titus) has been good for him. He even went so far to mention that he thinks I should write a book on the tactics that I’ve employed. Of the latter, I’ll get there, but just as much as Quitting Church points out, its that relevant, individualized, and consistent admonishment to living this faith that’s been so missing for others.
I admit that I’m both purveyor of an answer and a victim here. I left the church that I was attending because of items addressed in the chapters I’ve read: lack of meaty teaching, disengaged community life, singleness described as an anchor – used as a side note, etc. I also left because of guys like the one I described above: men who want to be engaged by the faith that makes up the very culture around them have little in the way given in terms of meaty, Scriptual (content and context), and upfront leading. It was hard to leave, and facing the weekly plumes of my own arrogance (diminishing) and humility (hopefully increasing), I’m challenged in this reading to revive some of what I’d left.
Without giving a summary of a book that I’ve finished, I can probably say that the previous paragraph is pretty much what this book is about. It’s a question of what has happened, what continues to happen, and possibilities towards addressing a real revival, not just an increase in publicity, social justice initiatives, or populations.
By a real revival, I mean that Spirit-embeded push to locally and globally interact with people in manners that ends with God being glorified and people coming to a conclusion to the problems that effect their real lives, not just the applied lives of agricultural economies and militaristic kingdoms.
There’s a statement on one of my whiteboards that seems appropriate: “[do/live] mobile as an activity of worship; transform into something else.” It’s based off of a deep conviction that I have towards any technology, and Romans 12:2. Much like Duin and those she interviewed, I see the things that I do in this live having a transformative nature that life in Christ explains, and that local fellowships should cultivate. When there’s a conflict in these, or the soil that has been cultivating you has worn out, we seek reconciliation through life, and a hope for revival.
At least, that’s what it seems from the perspective of a this reader’s lens. I do wonder what else this book will reveal about me to myself before I’m finished reading it. Seems like I’m back at a place where transformation is about to happen again.