Thoughts Sparked by Woodward’s Creating a Missional Culture

In Creating a Missional Culture, JR Woodward shares a great quote from GK Chesterton:

The more I considered Christianity, the more I found that while it has established a rule and order, the chief aim of that order was to give room for good things to run wild.

Would you describe your church as a place where good things run wild? Where the good ideas that poke their heads up are free to explore and grow and where they are nourished to maturity and fruitful ministry? Where the messy art of living is celebrated and fully engaged in His mission to restore and reconcile?

After exchanging his fastidiously law oriented life as a Pharisee for a wildly grace led adventure as a disciple of Jesus, the apostle Paul wrote that “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free!” I wonder if we fear the good and wild things of the Spirit to the point that we’ve exchanged being led by His Presence with us for coldly following His rules. While obedience to His written word is certainly not optional, is that really the full extent of the relationship God wants with us?

Could it be that the express, written commands handed down to us through generations of godly men and women are meant not to corral us, but to free us to live in rhythms that allow His song to resonate most deeply through our lives?

What if God wants to reveal Himself to humanity not through an army of compliant drones, but through a kingdom of priests? Will you take your place among the priests? Live a life that reflects God’s ideals AND shares His ideas.

What Are You By God’s Will?

I sat down to read through 2 Timothy earlier and got stopped before I had a chance to get too far into it.

This letter is from Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by God’s will…

That’s as far as I got.

In letters of leadership and life instructions to someone he considered a spiritual son (1 Timothy begins similarly), Paul begins with a humble reminder that what he is, is because of God. What he does, he does because that’s what his Sender appointed him to do. The mentor makes no claim for himself, but points to the One who sent Him. He wasn’t an apostle because he had the right temperament or personality type or skill set or experience.

Paul identifies himself as an apostle because that’s the way God identified him. When Jesus re-routed Paul’s life, he responded with humble obedience and from what we can tell, he never looked back.

Which leads me to wonder:

What am I “by God’s will”?

What are you?

May we humbly accept what He names us and follow faithfully wherever He leads.