More like an organism
One of the things I love about hosting our About Circle of Hope meals (it was brunch this last Sunday) is that I get to learn more about Circle of Hope each time. Circle of Hope isn’t an “institution” or an “organization,” it’s more like an “organism” with real human parts. We are a body. And so by getting to know who is part of us, we’re getting to know the whole.
Here’s one example. When we were going over what we’ve been given to do, a line in our statement sparked some great dialogue: Loving the thirsty people of our fractured region, we keep generating a new expression of the church to resist and restore with those moved by the Holy Spirit.
The self-identified thirsty
One person wondered if it was judgmental to presume that the people in our region were thirsty or our region was fractured. I’m not so sure it is, but another person said it might be better to look for the people in the region who “self-identify” as thirsty. I guess, according to our statement we’re looking for those moved by the Holy Spirit.
I think that’s an important thing to note in the postmodern era. We’re looking for people who are looking for Jesus; those who might listen; those who are moved. Not everyone will follow Jesus, despite my hope and our efforts. But some people will and some people really want to. I don’t want the fact that I might get rejected stop me from trying to include people in God’s world redemption project. But I don’t want to coerce anyone to do it, as Christians have a reputation of doing (the street evangelists at Temple are proof enough).
Finding people who are moved
When I was leading Ash Wednesday with Belle last week, I invited someone I met to join us. He came, and I was a little worried that my message was “too serious.” It was all about returning to God, turning away from sin, and reconciling with him. My friend told me later that he was ready to make his relationship right with God after years of turning away. I was amazed! I wasn’t sure my invitation would go far. After all, I met this person just holding up my “Tell Me Your Story” sign. But here he was, ready to move with God. He knew he was thirsty and he came looking for water. I don’t think he’s alone in that. Let’s look for the thirsty people in our fractured region together. If that’s you, hit me up.