Life, Faith and Urban Farming

The life and happenings of an unconventional pastor and urban farmer living in the city with a family of five.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Talking or Acting

I'm sitting in my office on a cold Monday morning reflection back on the weekend and beginning to prepare for next weekend's fall retreat. Last night BJ and others in the Open Door community shared on the practice of giving. This practice is not focused solely on giving money or giving possessions or time, but it's more broad. While money, time and possessions play a big role, we want people to practice giving in a Romans 12:1 sort of way, giving their entire being to God as a living sacrifice. This is an important and I believe a prophetic message to our community.

From the beginning The Open Door has attracted and cultivated great thinkers. We've become very good at dialogue, developing creative ideas and plans, and we've learned to talk seriously about issues of racial and economic injustice in our neighborhoods and around the world. We're a Sojourner reading kind of community and we love to talk.

But you have to take part in social action if you care about social justice. Over the past two and half years of being a part of this community, which I absolutely love, I've realized we are not always good at putting our words into action. I believe we are like most Americans doing to much stuff to do anything that really matters. Our lives must be simplified so we can do less stuff in order to do something. If we want to begin doing the missional practices we've so creatively thought up and talked about for a month we must take seriously the call to action and the call to live simpler lives.

I could (and did but erased it all) list a half dozen ways I think The Open Door has failed to take action over the past year, but I won't. I will end with this question. Are we simply creating a new orthodoxy - a new way of THINKING RIGHTLY about our world and about God? I am not interested in a new orthodoxy. I'm not interested in a community that talks the talk, but is too busy with their personal lives to walk the walk. We've done enough talking, lets start doing what we say we're all about. I believe the Open Door's collective heart is in the right place. We truly care about the things of God. I pray that God will begin using us in ways that will bring real change in people's lives.

Sorry I'm kinda negative today, it's Monday morning and I'm shivering in my 55 degree office.


Anonymous said...

While I think you have a point, I'd like to mention a few things the OD has done this past year that have been "justice issues":

Cleaning up E.Liberty with the United Way Day of Caring.

The huge response to the Martin Luther King event last spring.

We are a brand new church that does not have a cohesive core. But we care about our neighborhood

(how many folks have purchased homes closer to the OD? I can think of at least 4 individuals/families that have in the past year done this, not including the Woodworths who have been in E.Lib for at least ten years.)

John said...

thank you! I need some possitive reminders!!!

Anonymous said...

Oh, y'know, just practicing "Encouragement"...

John said...

Encouragement is definately a gift of yours, its a blessing to the rest of us.