As of the beginning of October, I joined the staff team of Church Innovations Institute as the Director of Operations and Spiritual Formation. We are a non-profit who partners with churches around the world, innovating their capacity to be renewed in God’s mission. We invite partners into a spiritual journey that asks one simple question: “What is God’s preferred and promised future for your congregation and community?” I am so incredibly excited, grateful, and full of anticipation about this next step in my journey.
When I met with my new team a few months ago at a dreaming/planning retreat, we spent a great deal of time talking about the past, present, and future. We talked about the core values that CI brings to the table when partnering with churches, and there is one phrase that has camped out on my shoulder since: We never give up on the question of God. Breathe that in with me for a minute. What might it mean for you, for our church, to “never give up on the question of God?”
As I have had time to sit with this idea, I have begun to understand that when a church places herself in a position in which she is always seeking and listening for what God is doing in her world – both outside and inside her walls, she places herself in a position to be formed by the mission of God. And this isn’t a one-time event, it’s a posture.
I want to live a life that embodies a posture which never gives up on the question of God: What is God up to in my church? How is God present and moving in my community? How am I noticing the work of God in my kids and marriage? What might God be up to in these hard or difficult circumstances, changes, or places of uncomfortability? How might God be working, even in times which seem too hard, or too out of the box, or too surprising?
May we never give up on the question of God. Even when it is hard. Even when it seems unclear. Even when the way forward is rocky and risky. Even when our best laid plans don’t turn out the way we hoped. Even when we doubt. Even when faithfulness looks like a cross. I have a hunch that God will surprise us, and that the questions will always lead us closer to the center – to the very life of God.
May we never give up on the question of God.