My mind is still settling in to some realizations I made while in New Mexico. I am still chewing on several thoughts, letting the implications work out in me.
One thing that I seem to have realized while at the Gathering (which is also something I have thought alot about since my formal departure from being on church staff a year ago and since leaving our 'home-church-experiment' a few weeks ago) was that I am not so concerned with building a better church, but figuring out a better way to be a human living in the way of Jesus.
Let me explain...
This year drew about 175 people from all over the US (and world) to the Gathering. In years past, it's been closer to 55 or 60 people.
Alot of new people with wild ideas about how to plant a better church or religious non-profit or how to transition an older mainline church to emerging values. Alot of these people are very well-intentioned. Several of them are dear friends.
But I realized that I am not really one of those people. I don't really care where the church is going or how to make the church more relevant or how to get people into pews and give their money to pay a pastor to help them live better.
Now don't get me wrong: I am not saying those are bad things; I just don't really care about them. Thank God there are people who care about them...but I am seeing more and more that it doesn't spark interest in me anymore.
I want to figure out how to be Jesus for the world. How to live out this subversive, revolutionary way in the world, not behind closed doors with 4 walls and a steeple. I want to figure out how to be in community with the whole of God's creation, listening for the Spirit wherever I may be.
Perhaps this dichotomy isn't really as diametrically opposed as I see it. Certainly there are people who are part of churches or church staff that are truly trying to do this...and generate momentum from within the walls of a church...but again, that is not me.
So who knows what's next. Who knows where the wind will blow. Just trying to figure out what it means to live in the way of Jesus for the bettering and preserving of the world.