Next month we start a couple of new events; ‘Hopeful’ which will be a monthly worship event and ‘Purposeful’ which will be a discipleship time with a heavy emphasis on application. Of the two I am most stoked for ‘Purposeful’. I am also most challenged by the idea. One of our previous ventures ‘Up Town’ finally collapsed because of a failure to help and challenge people to apply truths to their practical lives. “Purposeful’ is a call away from a schizophrenic secular/spiritual lifestyle and a call to a purposeful integrated life as citizens of the Kingdom of God.
One of my great friends in Street Hope spent nearly 25 years in prison (life on the installment plan). He tells us that the change in his life came when he decided to become a ‘citizen’, by this he means a law abiding useful citizen of society but more so of the Kingdom of God. He began to look around and see what real citizens did and then he began to do those things. Eventually his thinking changed and lined up with his new activities. He has become a real influence for good in the community and a very real blessing to Street Hope.
“Purposeful’ will start by engaging with the Sermon on the Mount. This important portion of scripture lays out Kingdom ethics and behaviours. The plan is not to just teach these but to assist in their discovery with a view toward applying them in our individual and corporate lives as well as provide a venue for debriefing and accountability. I’ve never led something like this and find the idea very challenging. I also see the great need and potential.
I have come to see ‘Purposeful’ as a means of forming citizens. Even as I post this I am aware of the danger of publishing lofty goals but I do so as a kind of accountability. I invite readers to a vicarious journey. I am sure the ride will not be smooth but it doesn’t promise to be ordinary either!
This past week a great friend and mentor of mine passed away. In my ministry I experience a lot of difficult circumstances and over the last few years I used to meet with George Lockett and pour out my heart. He would listen, offer words of wisdom and best of all would pray with and for me. I am happy that he will suffer no more but I already miss him! He and his influence are irreplaceable (an idea he would have scoffed at) and I mourn that loss. I do believe though that God has a plan and I think after a time I will discover another and different way to process and pray through the knocks of ministry.