Q & R: One of the most common questions I receive ...
Here's the Q:
Just finished your book. It REALLY spoke to me. It's where I'm headed in my life's journey.
That said I fear that I may be quite alone the closer I get to this transformation. The church i attend is nowhere close to such a paradigm shift (and they are far from mainstream). Living out this new way of thinking is a bit alienating...thoughts?
I know you are busy, I just hope you can spare me a minute.
I just moved to [California]. In Australia, we had a community and like-minded friends, and navigating our christianity outside of traditional church models was a great adventure.
Now we are in the US and desperate to find a community of open-minded Christians We have visited several churches and every time are shocked by their fundamental stance on doctrine. We've just about given up on finding an open-minded, missional congregation, but we have no community around us either.
Do you know any communities in this area you can recommend to us?
Thank you, and blessings,
Here's the R:
Here's the good news: there are so many people out there who are like you, seeking an "open-minded, missional congregation." If we could help them find each other, we might have a movement on our hands.
Here's the bad news: I know of now site that helps people find each other in this way.
But here's some more good news: this could be one of the goals of an initiative I'm trying to help get started. More information here. (And yes, your help is still greatly needed!)
And here's some more bad news: there are open-minded churches that aren't very missional, and missional churches that aren't very open-minded. But I know there are growing numbers of churches that are both, and I expect that number to grow significantly in the coming years. In the short run, I think it's wisest to seek an open-minded congregation where there will be a missional subset, and to do that, I'd look in your area for a) one of the peace churches (anabaptist, quaker, etc.), b) a mainline church that is active in the community, c) an emergent cohort, or d) a new monastic community.
Here's some final good news. If there's nothing in your area in this regard, you can start something. The book I'm finishing up right now should be an asset in that possibility.