A week ago I attended a conference for ministry-minded folks with a desire for reaching college students. At one point I found myself sitting next to a young man of African American ancestry, who was obviously very intelligent, in his last year of school, and was considering joining staff with the collegiate ministry he was a part of. Because of this possibility, he had been allowed to tag along — getting a glimpse of what he might sign up for, I guess.
First, if religious works were crucial to achieving a good standing with God, then there would always be a fundamental difference between those in church ministry and everyone else. But if religious work did absolutely nothing to earn favor with God, it could no longer be seen as superior to other forms of labor.
The gospel of salvation through sheer grace holds a second implication for work. While ancient monks may have sought salvation through religious works, many modern people seek a kind of salvation—self-esteem and self-worth—from career success. This leads us to seek only high-paying, high-status jobs, and to ‘worship’ them in perverse ways. But the gospel frees us from the relentless pressure of having to prove ourselves and secure our identity through work, for we are already proven and secure. It also frees us from a condescending attitude towards less sophisticated labor and from envy over more exalted work. All work now becomes a way to love the God who saved us freely; and by extension, a way to love our neighbor.
– Timothy Keller, Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work To God’s Work
God is good and we don’t get to understand much more than that…
“Today, I didn’t get picked…”
I wrote that line, on this blog, January 24th, at 8:48 a.m. That was the last I updated it because I was also, already, busy working on not getting picked by another organization that I was super excited about.
I have affectionately labeled the months that followed my “season of rejection”…
We are part of the best story there is. So how do we cast a compelling vision for our community and connect with the people – even those who don’t believe as we do – in a way that excites them, assures them we care, and connects our story to theirs in a way that shows them the depth of meaning THE story can bring to their lives!?
We are all storytellers, and we are all part of one grand story.
Within this grand story are nearly infinite other stories we could tell at any time.
Jesus was a master storyteller.
My father is an expert storyteller.
I tend to be a bit of a storyteller, myself, but I wouldn’t say I’m “expert” material yet. However, that’s pretty much what the existence of this blog is about. One long and wandering story. One I’m writing down as I go. One I’m hoping to gain clarity on as I write.
Our communities we are a part of are a story. Hundreds of thousands of stories, making up one collective story – much like the gospel and the church.
However, our communities depend on us. You and me.
We have to help shape the story and make it meaningful.
Sometimes my least favorite part about the process I feel I’m going through is learning to associate with the anxiety that
small all business owners go through.
It’s ridiculous. It sucks. It’s stupid! Yet it’s too often normal…
Plus, it affects everything… if we let it…