At FORGE I was again reminded about our call to the poor, the outcasts, the fringes of our society. I was challenged by the people at UNOH, the people from Make Poverty History, from John Smith, from Urban Seed and from the different ministries popping up all over Australia.
I have heard a question, has the emerging church become too mainstream? Well, I think there is a danger of this certainly, with the popularity of the message, the books, the "whats new and trendy" kind of acceptence that we are getting. But as long as we hear this message about the poor loud and clear, and I hope we will, we will not be too mainstream.
But again, it is trendy to talk about the poor. I mean even Bono and Geldorf are at it again. It is fine to spend a bit of our income to help out, but what about our lives? "He who seeks to find his life shall lose it, but he who seeks to lose his life for My sake will find it" But like my good friend Dave Ridgeway taught on Monday with our interns, there is a big difference between hearing, and learning. Learning means doing. Not the hearers of the word are blessed but the doers. What we need to do, is champion the do'ers.
So I ask the question: What are you emerging into? If you are emerging into mission in your context that is good. If you are emerging into discipleship rather than easy believism, well again I say that is good. But if you are emerging into a true, understanding and following of Jesus, shouldn't you also be emerging into the kind of people that leave a place of comfort, and security into the wild adventure of downward mobility? Of leaving the heaven you created for yourself and delving into the underworld? Of leaving the kings court to the poverty stricken hovels of the peasants? Of eating and drinking with the outcasts, the prostitutes, the diseased, or even the "sinners"
I for one was challenged greatly at the FORGE summit, to once again abandon all, in pursuit of a lifestyle that emulates and glorifies my Lord. I plan to start tomorrow :)