Over the weekend, after I wrote my previous post linking to a great comment by Arlan, Bettie left another comment that I would like to highlight so that more people read it and think about it.
As with the previous post, Bettie is actually introducing himself to me and my readers. However, her comment touches on an issue that I often struggle with as well. What do you do when you have a longing to change the way you live among the church (in whatever aspect), but others around you are “fine with the way things are”?
Here is Bettie’s comment:
I’ve been enjoying your posts for a while now, and sharing them from time to time. I guess when you say something that I’ve been thinking the same way about, it feels safer to let you say it than for it to be just my opinion… You have a nice way of challenging our thinking from a perspective of humility.
I have been a missionary in Guatemala for 14 years now, involved in different forms of ministry, and attending a megachurch. For the last three years or so I have been feeling more and more restless with that situation, studying both on my own and with the help of others like you, and coming to some disturbing conclusions about the current state of church in general.
My challenge here is that Guatemala is highly evangelized. Sometimes I wonder why I stay here when the Gospel has been so widely preached, but in reality Christ-followers are difficult to find. There is a church on almost every block but mostly full of religion, legalism and man’s traditions. I feel that with the religious freedom here we have a wonderful opportunity to be a greenhouse, so to speak, to raise up missionaries to go to places where the need is greater but North Americans wouldn’t be so welcome.
So when I read of missional communities, house church, simple church, organic church, etc. etc. I feel a longing for something like that but the culture here hasn’t seemed to be conducive to that sort of movement. People seem to be just fine with the way things are but I just can’t go on this way. So I feel like I’m longing for a home that I’ve never seen, and wrestling with the thoughts of whether I am to start something, keep looking for something already existing, or what. Somehow I know that I’m not the only one around here that feels this way.
So, I’ll ask you the same question that I asked Bettie in response to her comment: Why do you think you feel a restlessness about “the way things are” while others seem to be fine with it? How does someone move forward in this situation?