Trying to begin a post today has been difficult. If you have been following my journey, you know that I sense that God is calling us out – setting us apart – for “something.” What that “something” might be isn’t clear. This is a frustrating place. Each week, I really, really want to be able to tell you that I have discovered God’s Will For My Life … but it’s just not working out like that.
This is the place where I am going to be completely honest with you, dear reader. If you don’t want to see my ugly, sinful side, you might wish to stop reading now: The more I read about living a missional life from people who are already doing it, the more jealous I become of them. There, I said it. Bloggers, writers, speakers, musicians, missionaries, friends – anyone who is serving and living their life’s passion – make me jealous.
As the mom of a toddler and a ministry wife in a traditional church setting, living in a city where we have no family, my time is limited, and I want to make sure that I am investing in the areas where God wants me to serve. But I want to be Out There, Doing It (whatever it is). I want to serve the margins, those who may not walk into our church building and attend a service.
I have a dear friend who is taking this journey with me, and I am ever so grateful. We are praying about some plans for the future, and probably scaring my husband to death. We want to be radical, to push the envelope, get our hands dirty, and meet our neighbors. Pray for us, reader. The road may be difficult, and we want to be sure that we are following well.
Please don’t misunderstand me: The traditional church setting is not all bad, and the reasons that people give for not attending such a church are wide and varied. However, two statistics that Jen Hatmaker quotes in her book Interrupted are shocking:
- Only 3 out of 10 20-somethings attend church in a typical week.
- Roughly 62% of all unchurched adults were formerly churched.
Did you get that? American Christianity is losing people out the back door, specifically our young adults. It will only take one or two generation for the Church in America to become obselete if we do not act.
What does that mean? It means that doing things the way we always have is not working. It means that the “build it and they will come” mentality does not work. It means that we cannot simply expect people to attend our church because we are having a service or a special event.
It does mean we need to be out among the people in our communities, in the places where they are living their lives. It means getting to know them first, and letting them see how Jesus impacts our daily lives. It means being good neighbors where we live. It means being open, authentic, and honest about our struggles.
And now that I have exhausted you with the number of words in this rambling post, that is where I am going to leave you. I do not have all of the answers to the problem of getting the gospel to those around us, but I do know that it will require me to go to them, not expecting them to come to us.
What about you? How are you living the Gospel in your city?