I find myself pregnant again. I hope the imagery is not too much for the visual thinkers out there, but the weight inside me is growing and becoming harder to ignore.
I carried my first book for a little over ten years before labor began, and the delivery was completed. I hope this pregnancy goes much more quickly. All I know is that I cannot hold it in much longer. I began yesterday. For those who walked (or read) with me through the first labor and delivery you know that this is not a promise of release dates, as much as it is a notification. Here we go again.
Book number one, Think Differently Live Differently: Keys to a Life if Freedom had a specific target and a specific mission. So does this next one, but it is a bit
different than the first. TDLD as we have affectionately called my first baby, was written for the unchurched and those who have not been exposed to the Gospel. I tried as best as I know, to write in a language and approach that was not colored by my thirty three years of life as a “church-person”. The message was an overview of how and why Jesus’ message and ministry changes the human condition and experience. I want people to get free.
This next baby, seems to have a different target and mission. The mechanism that is designed to be the hope of the world, is the local church. Some of you have heard me describe myself as a missionary to the church. For this reason, this next book, is being written for the church, in a season where we (the church) search out ways to change the world, and in that process, search out ways to change ourselves.
I have been a pastor for six years now, after fighting valiantly to resist the title. I fought it not because of the inherent, biblical intent of the title. If I were fighting against the true meaning of the word, I would say I lost that battle twenty or more years ago. As a verb, I began to pastor people long ago. As a noun, or a title, I fear that the impact of the word, “pastor” creates a whole new set of cultural perceptions (the stranger on the plane who asks what I do for a living) and expectations (the church member who sees a badge on my lapel) that I felt could work against the very calling itself. (well, you’re supposed to ___________, you’re a pastor!).
But like any good missionary, I joined the very culture I was sent to impact.
So this next book, I write to my family. Not specifically the local body where I am on staff, but my family worldwide. I am deeply burdened that in this next season, we, the church, learn to be the life-giving, world-changing organism that we are designed to be. If I may, I would like to see us become the Bride that we were created and redeemed to be.
Last August, I re-posted a series called “Change the Right Thing” which started with a post called “Turn up the Light” on August 16, 2010. It was this series that first caught my attention and this is probably when this child was conceived.
I will keep you posted….