"Beth" is the girlfriend I never thought I'd end up falling in love with (get over it, God described Israel as a she/her and the affecionate love for her) . I mean I knew I'd love aspects of her, but in the end wondered how long this relationship could/would last. Then 2 things began to happen a couple years ago.
1. I began to see who I was NOT, and who they were, and recognized MY need to become more of THEM.
2. I realized who THEY were NOT, and saw the connection oh how God wanted to use ME to influence THEM.
(to do this, you must be intentional PRIDE KILLERS)
THEY, and ME is becoming US (Forgive my improper use of the inglesh langwage)
Which means at 34 years old, and having been in ministry for almost 15 years that I'm finally understanding the principle behind 1 Cor: 12:4-7, 11-13 "Diversity in Gifts".
In a retreat with many different gifts, make ups, personalities and preferences I realized several key points.
1. God WILL (or may want to) call you to a place different then you, and outside of your personal preference. (this seems to be a dying thought amongst emerging leaders)Pastors, resist the urge to hire YOURSELF, or a yes man. I really love and respect my pastor who well knows our differencs, and celebrates them.
2. There is power in the commingling of those who are (Progressive, modern, traditional, Post-modern, Hipster and whatever ridiculous category we can put on a demographic).
Again 1 Cor 12:4-7.
3. THIS type of thinking, and intentional gatherings (even staffings) is a true remedy for transforming and reaching communities with the relevant gospel.