Saturday, October 14, 2006

"F" Bombs

Where I work I get to see a lot of people in the run of a day. They come into the show room or I see them at a job site and there they are, gruff, tough and sometimes angry construction workers. Angry or not, I think I've heard more "F" bombs in the past week and a half than I have in the last ten years.

One of the young men who favors the "F" bomb comes in quite often in need of more materials for his business constantly. As I walked away from the store with my brother for lunch one day, he drove by greeting us smoking a marijuana cigarette saying he'd see us later. To say the least, this man is what we'd call a "lost soul". I wonder how churches would respond to this man.

As I see this man on a regular basis, I get to know him. I find out things about him that explain, a little bit, how he got to be the way he is. Things like his parents both grew pot, or the fact that his grandmother gave him his first age 8! I have conversations with him about stuff that may matter a little bit instead of small talk. I do all of this and don't even mention God or Jesus or anything. I just, well, care a little bit about him as a person. Do I want him to know the freedom, peace and grace that comes from knowing God through Christ? Of course. But that's not my point.

My point here is that the Church needs boots on the ground. What I mean by that is that we need to get people out of the church buildings and into the work place, the play place, the marketplace and be salt and light there. Not only that, the hurting world needs discipled people who are educated in the teachings of Jesus to be out there. Furthermore, it can't be done under the guise of a program. Ask any pastor or religious program director about their latest "thing" and you'll get quotes on how many people were there, how "rockin" it was and how much money was made. Are these evil things? No of course not. Neither is show business. They just have nothing to do with discipleship.

Touching a hurting world can't just be scheduled. That's why we all need to be prepared to be the Jesus to the people we meet when and where they are at, not at some program for the public. So get out there. Be a real disciple and practice the teachings of Jesus. As Brian McLaren says, "be more concerned with conversations than with conversions" and I think we'll all be a better kind of salt and light.


Sandra said...

Hey Bob,
It sounds like you've hit the ground running here in Canada! Our family was very much looking forward to connecting with you on this leg of your journey and trust that you're finding a way to bring your family this way soon.

It sounds like you are experiencing the marketplace faith that you'd hoped you would -- Yay! That's something that our family has tried hard to live out for many years (Bob, in particular).

I think (I hope. I pray.) that the less we seek position and prestige for ourselves, the more we will see "real" connections with "lost souls."

There are more "boots on the ground" now than ever before: many of the people inside those boots are men and women like yourself who have grown weary of the grinding out of programming and numbers. We are people who want to express our love for God and our love for others in practical, everyday, integrity-filled ways.

The great poverty in this nation, I believe, is lack of relationship. If we can offer that to our workmates, store clerks, neighbors, etc., we may do more to build the Kingdom of God than any well-meaning church program ever could!

The McDonald Family
PS: Because of your planned stop at our home, your story has touched a bunch of people that you don't know! You and your family are in our thoughts (and, when I'm on top of things, in my prayers).

Anonymous said...

Hey Bob,
what's up it's nic just wanted to see what is going on havent seen any blogs recently how's canada?