I am an exhausted Evangelical, but I am hopeful that God will use this particularly bumpy cultural moment to rouse a sleepy church from its prolonged nap of cultural Christianity, and that what might emerge from this all would be a vibrant Kingdom community of faith prepared to live as sojourners and exiles until we arrive on the shores of the land that we are actually all longing for.
Austin is one of the fastest growing and dynamic cities in the US. It is a place of great opportunity and great need. How can the church love this city in a way that points to the love of Christ and the good news of the gospel?
How much of professional Christian life is geared so that we spend more time complaining about sinners than we spend in genuine compassionate friendship and relationship?
It got me thinking. Friendship is a powerful thing, and while I know that I am blessed in the friendship that I have received and not everyone would have that as their story, Christians ought to be known by the kind of friendship that they give. Genuine friendship ought to mark us as communities of people. I confess that I forget this all too often, but as I enter into my next decade of life I am making a simple commitment to be a good friend to people.
I turned 40 today which means that I finally have an excuse for my crankiness and I also have the duty to share all of my gathered wisdom with an unsuspecting world. So here are 40 thoughts that no one asked for in no particular order.
Two days ago, the Lester family marked the one year anniversary of our arrival in the US. I cannot believe it has been a year! We arrived tired, smelly, confused and a little fearful and have more or less remained in that state for the rest of the year. It has been a most marvelous adventure!
Dear friends, what if we became the kind of community that our neighbors desperately long for? The kind of place where they wouldn’t need to be Wonder Woman and wouldn’t need confidence juice to enter into, but where it would be okay to be just them, even if just them isn’t okay at all. We can be that sort of a people collectively if we start to just do it individually.
I am more and more persuaded that truly engaged and fully present listening is a gift that Christians could give uniquely to the world, as we of all people aren’t constantly clambering to be heard. Listening is a sacred thing. I think it might be a spiritual discipline actually. Let’s be quick to listen to one another.
Once a week I write a pastoral letter to the good people of the West Congregation of the Austin Stone Community Church. I will occasionally add some of those letters here. Dear West Family I can’t believe that we have been in Austin for two months already. We have loved our time so far, just... Continue Reading →