I started yesterday feeling kind of depressed. My heart is bursting with desire for normal “post-Christian” folks — like my friends who are singularly uninterested in church, even though I tell them I’m “the front man in the band.”
In San Jose right now, there is a spectacular push for Alpha. Over a hundred churches are working together to host Alpha at around the same time, and the advertising is everywhere: radio ads, billboards, backs of buses, miniature posters placed on lawns, flyers in every home. Somebody ponied up a bunch of money for this.
It tears me up. Not because I think it’s a bad thing — it’s wonderful! I have often wanted to try Alpha myself. And since it originated in post-Christian England, I’d think it has a good shot at really touching people here. But I can bet money that my friends haven’t given it a second thought. …And since it’s not reaching my friends, it’s crap, right?
No, it's not. But I am becoming so focused, so obsessed with this vision of reaching not the "unchurched" but the "anti-churched", that anything that does not move that vision forward seems like crap to me. I don't want to be critical of other things! But I figure that if I don't make an all-out effort to bring the kingdom of God to my friends and to others like them, who will? I am compelled.
My depression yesterday lifted after I worshiped my heart out. But I am still agonizing, because I'm not sure exactly what to do. Here I am, bursting with this grand vision, but I don't yet see how to get there. Agghhh!
Kay, bless her heart, was the biggest encouragement. She said, "Jon, you're wrestling with God. Something happened to you when you went to Soliton — God planted something in you. And now you're in this difficult place of burning vision. And it's OK for it to be difficult because it's a birthing process. God is going to birth something in you, something new and wonderful." ++ Thank you for my wife who believes in me. ++
At the Soliton Sessions, Erwin McManus said that when you wrestle with God, God won't let up on you — but he wants you persevere until you win. You may have a limp for the rest of your life, but it's worth it.