I briefly caught Mary Hess online today, distracting her for a few moments from her year in Vienna. It was a bittersweet conversation, however, because it reminded me that I still don’t have a place in the church, even though there are a number of people (Hessma included) who are pouring everything they have into making room in the church for something new. She challenged me several times:
What would be most fun at this point?
I told her I would love for the church to call me up and say, “We’re interested in providing resources to help the church get out of their building and engage the culture… could you go be an evangelist to, well, north america and help churches do this?”
Well, what would it take to describe [this possibility] vitally enough to help people “catch” the vision? a film? a song? a media site?
Any of those would be a great way to communicate possibilities. But they need to be based on true-life stories. So before we can share the vision, I believe we need to create the vision. We need to tell the real life story of someone living out these possibilities. Now blogging, podcasting, and even video casting make the media and syndication to accessible to anyone and everyone. So I, or anyone, could tell the story of doing church in a new way. And I believe without a shadow of a doubt, if more people have an opportunity to see someone engaging the culture in new (old) ways, and approaching ministry preparation outside of the classroom, things would change. At the very least, new doors would be opened.
Imagine a TEEM based blog/vlog/podcast documenting the life of a spiritual entrepreneur. A peek into a different approach to ministry preparation, and a different approach to being the church.
I join Mary in throwing down the gauntlet for those of us who are able to make a difference, by telling new stories in new forms, to do whatever we can to make this possibility a reality.