Eric and I are taking steps in a different direction. For one we are stepping down as small group leaders. We want to be more heavily involved in missional activities and that necessitates our scaling back in other areas.
One of the biggest reasons we've decided to do this is perhaps a new perspective on our walk as Christians. Much of that I attribute to Rob Bell's teaching in his directions 2.0 series. (At one time you could listen to it online, but I do not think that is available anymore.) We have come to believe that we have a calling. One in which we display the resurrected Christ to our world. We are not sure what form this will take, but I have been impressed with people or groups that I have met or read about that seem to live a more missional life than I do now.
Here are a few:
CBF--This is an organization that Eric Howell (a pastor friend of ours) took part in. He is brilliant (he has a Mechanical Engineering degree) and he sacrificed the year before his marriage and start at graduate school to rebuild a facility in Homestead, Florida that had been ravaged by a hurricane. He could have been working at a lucrative engineering job, but Jenny (his wife and my friend) told me stories about how he used one light bulb in his apartment in Florida, so that he would have money to buy her a ring.
Greer Kendall--My parents know his wife. They taught her in Sunday School and she worked for my dad. He left a thriving financial career to help AIDS orphans in Zambia.
Amber Rutsey--I have not seen or heard from Amber in a couple of years because I am terrible, terrible, terrible about maintaining relationships with people I do not see on a regular basis. I am so counting on time in heaven to catch up with everyone. But Amber was my college roommate during my freshman year (that alone should qualify her for sainthood). She married Keith and then he decided to become a youth minister. This was not in the cards when they married and she was so fully supportive, I admire her.
Anyway, there are others, but I've got a growing list of post-it notes to attend to today, so I need to stop here.
But a couple more influences can be found here:
One sermon that Eric and I listened to recently that is still on the Mars Hill sight talked about The Kingdom of Heaven. It is by Rick McKinley, the pastor at Imago Dei. Rick talked about our place and calling in that Kingdom. It is one that Eric and I would like to more fully realize.
N.T. Wright has also played a role in my thinking lately. His book, The Challenge of Jesus is one that I am still mulling over. His newest book The Last Word also has implications for Eric and I here in 2006.