My brother commented yesterday that my mission statement could fit any believer...asking if it's not something all believers should be doing. Hopefully as we explore each of the 5 words and 2 phrases, the uniquiclier pieces of what this means to me (and in turn what your mission could mean to you) will become clear.
Today I want to unpack what is, for some, the most unliked part of my mission, and that's the word stimulating. When I first chose this word, I actually went through a bunch of synonyms before settling on it, using words like promoting, building, leading, etc. But it was reading about oysters that landed me on stimulating. As it says somewhere on my blog, like a tiny grain of dust or some other particle annoys the crap out of an oyster until a pearl is formed, I've become convinced that God's call for me involves using humor, irony and maybe even a little sarcasm as methods to get people to think outside their normal boxes and consider what God might be doing. Social scientists refer to all the things we need to unlearn before we can learn something--that's what I'm trying to stimulate. Particularly for those like me who have grown up in the modern American church, it's so hard to get out of the bubble of our uni-cultural existence and see how incredibly broad and diverse the kingdom of heaven can be.
I usually refer to it as the spiritual gift of button-pushing (listed in 2 Hezikiah).
Now, have I done this poorly at times? Absolutely. Just like a preacher/teacher tempted to use the pulpit to "shout down" people in the church who oppose their leadership, I've certainly twisted my own calling from God for my own purposes. I'd be willing to be that some of you reading this have been offended by something I've said in sarcasm, or something I've pushed too hard. If that's the case, I'd love to hear from you and let you know how sorry I am, for that is not my intent. My intent is to stimulate redemptive living and kingdom investment, but my clay feet sometimes get in the way.
Many of you know I've struggled in the past with "organized" Christianity. I'm not a fan of much of what USAmerican Evangelicalism has become. (I'm tempted to insert several of my pet peeves here, but I'm resisting.) And, quite frankly, I've tried once or twice to leave. Or twenty times.
My mission keeps bringing me back. God's call to stimulation will not allow me to go start something new (like that would work anyway, I'm pretty sure I'd screw that up) but to first listen to him and then be his voice in my circles of influence. I do it well some days, poorly some other days, and probably miss opportunities altogether way too often.
But I do believe its part of my calling. More to come...