“Some of the most prophetically charged world-changing movements throughout history were catalyzed, not by charismatic leaders taking the world by force, but by small groups of faithful people on the fringe of society who chose to embody an alternative story to that of the prevailing culture around them” This quote from “To Alter Your World” by Michael Frost and Christiana Rice stays with me. I underlined it and keep returning to it as I meditate on ministry.
Street Hope, tiny community, seeks to live differently than before when survival consumed all energies. Survival mode is the most self-centred way of living there is. The culture around us is very much in ‘survival mode’. The thought of living a life of self-giving love after the example of Jesus is counter cultural to the extreme.
I believe that the wider community does see differences in those of our fellowship. People are seeing uncharacteristic behaviours. They are not saying this but I believe it is true. Self-giving love stands out! The neighbours are watching. They are wondering if it is real. They perhaps remain miles away from the idea of following this example but they notice. They are looking for stumbles and unfortunately we all stumble but they see people pick themselves up again and move on with forgiveness and hope. We hope that eventually this humble community (which has lots to be humble about) can have an impact on the destructive self-seeking of the prevailing culture.
On May 20th we will be hosting our first Shalom Saturday. The goal is that together we will move toward a wholeness that is exemplified in fulfilled lives of self-giving. The intention is to have a Shalom Saturday every 6 weeks and we are asking that participants commit to staying with us for a minimum of six sessions. We will spend the day together in Jesus’ presence in commitment to honest dialogue. Through listening, dialogue and worship we expect make progress in moving from lives of unhealthy self-seeking to fulfilled self-giving lives. We hope to have 12 people in our circle. 12 is both a small and a significant number. 12 was once a world changing number. We are not seeking to change the world for that is God’s job but we are seeking to be changed. We do live in hope that as God changes us he can use our change to nudge the prevailing culture around us toward his Kingdom and its value of self-giving love.