Sometimes i think i should just work with people outside the church. They convert me every time.

The thing about being invited to participate in people’s ‘thin places’ in life, in their moments of greatest fragility and pain, is that there is a yearning for a moment of grace which is almost palpable. There’s a desperation for it, so strong it’s almost willed into existence. And if it comes, the relief and thankfulness is overwhelming.

My calcified cynicism is gradually being whittled away.

It is such a privilege to be invited in to curate worship around these moments. The moments in this project that are so holy it scares me are not those that i orchestrate or initiate – they are the unexpected opportunities that get thrust into my path. It’s the invitation that changes my headspace. Rather than inviting people into my territory, i am invited into theirs. I am forced to have the grace and humility of a visitor rather than the ease (and control) of the host.

And again i am thankful for the gift of a project which has empty space built into it.


  1. You said:
    “Sometimes i think i should just work with people outside the church.”

    My wife and I were saying just the same thing to each other yesterday. 🙂

    Hang in there and enjoy the ride!

  2. craig mitchell

    you have to wonder whether that’s what was going on for jesus. the transformational moments were as much about the people that he was with as with whatever he brought to that. personally, I’m into developing messianic consciousness or whatever it was – Jesus grew through those encounters as well. i recall that learning from a bible study at kew about the Syro-Phonecian woman (however you spell it) at which jenny byrnes was asking difficult questions about the story.

    God is present on both sides of the encounter. in that sense i think that Jesus reflects who god is and who we are and can be. ie. a god who is present and open, not vending salvation, and a god who is also present in the person who is becoming whole, as we all are. or something like that.

    i don’t understand how being human in the way that you describe is both an expression of god-likeness and a calling forth of god-presence, so to speak, but I have no doubt that it is. it puzzles me a bit that you may not see this as ‘church’ – wasn’t that jesus whole point about the two or three gathered. i once heard john uren talk about that in terms of such people being outsiders. i can’t remember the details but it was very much about jesus saying that God was present to outcasts who gathered in some way “in his name”.

    blah blah blah (I suspect i havent preached enough lately. it just bubbles forth……) ignore whatever sounds condescending. it isnt meant to be but somehow i adopt that tone.

  3. Cheryl

    it should bubble forth too. nice.

    i say it’s not church because the people i’m doing it with wouldn’t identify themselves at all as christians, and wouldn’t want to be part of the church (and some have actively chosen not to be). it seems a bit condescending for me to call it church, even if i’d want to, theologically.

Comments are closed.