Monday, April 26, 2004

Over the weekend, Michelle and I had some good conversations. There is a big part of me that is always in process - rethinking where I've come from and where I am and where I still need to go. Fortunately, I've got a gift from God in my wife, who is frequently willing to help me walk through these things.

Well, as we were talking, I realized that despite how mind-bending my little world seems to be at times, I'm actually in a really great place. Because of the hard work of stripping down my theology and doctrine and expectations of God, church, etc., I've kind of come full circle. Initially the "conversation" of emerging culture/emerging church/postmodernity/whatevertheheckyouwannacallit excited me and gave me hope that I could employ new ways of thinking within my current context. Then it became clear that this was unlikely, and then it was flat out impossible. So I quit. Quit the stable, traditional church gig and launched out into whatever it is that I'm trying to do now. After nearly a year of "this" I understand that I've continued to move, grow, and develop. And I think freedom is the best word to describe where I am.

I pretty much suck at church planting, but I have the ability to continue on this road, and I'll do that until God tells me to do something different. I could also go get a regular job, and do the church planting thing on top of it. Those two options have been there for me for a while now, and I'm good with either of them. But my lilttle moment of clarity the other day came when I said, "You know what? I actually have the freedom to go back into a regular, traditional church context, doing 'full-time ministry.'"

I'm still re-experiencing my "angry young man" stage, and I'm still pretty bent at what the church in America has put together. And yet, I actually think my renewed anger is beyond the rebellious/revolutionary indignation that I used to feel. My anger is now tinted with grief and sorrow and compassion.

If I were to get hired by some traditional church, I'm pretty sure I'd still need to love them with my size 11 Doc Martens. But I can honestly say that it would love. Instead of saying, "I can't believe how selfish, prideful, and petty you people are! You really bother me right now" I could say, "I'm sick to my stomach at the way we've bought into a wrong set of values. There's a better way right in front of us, but it means discomfort, sacrifice, and a different mentality. We've settled for a sham. Let's agree to love one another enough to get over this crap. This way is harder, but make no mistake - it is better."

More easily said than done, I know. I have no idea whether this will ever happen. All I'm saying is that God has brought me far enough to where I have the freedom now to do it.

posted by Steve at 8:00 AM
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spirit farmer data

I'm Steve Lewis. This used to be my blogging home. My online home is now at When this blog was my active online home, I lived in Seattle. Now I live in London, UK. I follow Jesus (poorly most of the time), worship simply, read a lot, watch culture, go to school, listen to music, write, enjoy art, and drink a lot of coffee.
e-mail me:

seattle spots

victrola coffee
zoka coffee
university of washington
church of the apostles
quest church
sanctuary church
shoreline vineyard

sites i visit

off the map
nt wright

a few of the blogs in the feedreader

jason evans
joe boyd
kevin rains
alan creech
chris marshall
bill bean
eugene cho
jordon cooper
dwight friesen
john chandler
amy palmer
ryan bolger
rudy carrasco
ryan sharp
sings in the sunshine
rick bennett
scot mcknight
karen ward
alan hirsch
dan kimball
petey crowder

i'm reading it

colossians remixed
africa unchained

i finished reading it - 2007

generation me
jesus and the restoration of israel
god's continent
globalizing theology
gustavo gutierrez: essential writings
jesus and the eyewitnesses
garlands of grace
twenty poems to nourish your soul
the black swan
dancing in the streets
made to stick
signs in contemporary culture
hit the bullseye
the politics of jesus
readings in christian ethics
toward old testament ethics
the kite runner
principles of conduct
velvet elvis
the irresistable revolution
they like jesus, but not the church
the great omission
charisma: the gift of grace, and how it has been taken from us
the starfish and the spider
a perfect mess
the world cafe
the new faces of christianity
leaving church
journeying in faith
the creed
transforming mission
metaphors we live by
foolishness to the greeks
personal knowledge

states i've spent time: 2007

british columbia
oh yeah, denmark, too

i wrote it

managing conflict in the 'new world'
music review: over the rhine
film review: bonhoeffer
music review: fighting jacks
film review: the passion of the christ
how reality tv changes lives
the best tv article you've ever read
corks & caps: a wine lover's story of change
america's idols
random, disorganized thoughts about life after the katrina disaster
missional . . . plain and simple
on becoming post-gnostic

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