Talking about UnLearning Religion, here’s a quote from page 64 of Shane Claiborne’s book. (Shane, if you are reading this… real likely… I hope you don’t mind.)
“…I was puzzled, grieving over the state of our church. ‘I think I’ve lost hope in the church,’ I confessed, brokenhearted, to a friend. I will never forget her response. ‘No, you haven’t lost hope in the church. You may have lost hope in Christianity or Christendom or all the institutions, but you have not lost hope in the church. This is the church.’ At that moment, we decided to stop complaining about the church we saw, and we set our hearts on becoming the church we dreamed of.”
At Jacob’s Well we talk about being the kind of church you are, not that you have. That’s why we don’t have a building. It gives us nothing to point at and say, “That’s Jacob’s Well” except for ourselves. Since there is no grand edifice to impress people, no building to impact the landscape of south Minneapolis it is going to have be us. Us, following where Jesus is leading us – individually and together. Each of us on the leg of the journey that we are on. Putting into action what God has shown and given us – powerfully, imperfectly, limping, hurting, shouting, bravely, joyfully, gladly. Real people… who know that they what they are becoming belongs to God.
My fear? There are two of them. One is what it will mean for me. Following Jesus still scares the willies out of me because it threatens what I’ve figured out and am holding tightly to. The other is that we won’t do it. That we will talk about and agree with ‘becoming the church we dreamed of’ instead of doing what it takes to become it.
OK, so if you are in Minneapolis and not in a Group discussing this book, come join me at Turtle Bread tonight (Wed. April 2, 7 pm) on 48th St E & Chicago Ave S. Don’t worry if you haven’t read the book yet (if you are, try to get through chapters 1 & 2) or aren’t a Jacob’s Well person. I’ll have copies with me for 10 bucks.
And if you live in Timbuktu or something and can’t get there tonight, post your ideas, comments, etc here and let’s get an on-line conversation going.