Walking Different Ground


Getting ready to head out to LA for MARCHA, and thinking about how different my life work is now.  Where as I used to walk the neighborhood and city surrounding my church, I now walk the neighborhoods, cities, and states surrounding many churches.  I have been an observer with fresh eyes, multiple questions, and the seeds of new dreams.

I’ve seen churches in rural and city contexts; churches with holes in the floorboards, and one with floors made of marble; churches with full use of the space and others empty except for Sunday; churches led by clergy and staff and, others led by volunteers; churches built around agriculture, and some built around mining; churches with money and not enough ministry, and others with overflowing ministry and not enough money; churches that reach the poor and sidelined, and some that reach the rich and centralized; churches with a fighting spirit, and some with a sweet spirit; churches with parking, and churches without parking spots; churches with new pastors, and some with long-time pastorates.  The variety has been astounding.

And there is another part of this road that I’m looking for.  I’m searching for the places where the world goes to “not-church” to find spiritual connection.  I only have a vague idea where that will lead me…

So I walk farther, or drive the distances, in order to see what God is up to and to feel God’s spirit in beautiful variety.  In some ways, it feels like my territory went deeper, rather than farther, for the depth of God’s love leaves me in a place of silence.

The best part of this new beginning is not knowing the journey, or the territory, or even the Church.  The best part is making room for the surprise that comes when Walking Different Ground…


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