We were asked to answer some questions about the Collaborative, particularly why we wanted to be a part of it and what project we had in mind. I thought the answers to those questions brought out a lot about our hearts and where we feel called, so I thought I’d share them here, too:
Why would you like to be a part of the Collaborative? Why do you think it would be beneficial to you and what do you think you will bring to the group?
Yes, I would like to be a part of the Collaborative!
Why? I think it will challenge me (us) and help push us forward in walking out the things that God has put on our hearts. I’m looking forward to gathering with other dreamers and watching what God is doing in their lives and the ways He’s leading them (it encourages me and stirs me to dream more with God, to go further and deeper with Him). I think that being around such a variety of people will remind me of the variety of God’s kingdom and will help me keep that perspective, even while we hone in on our more specific kingdom assignments. I also hope that the teaching and group interaction with help us put more of a framework to the dreams and callings on our hearts. And the accountability of the group will hopefully help keep me balanced so that I’m don’t hold back and do too little but also don’t do too much and get burned out (something that I’ve struggled to balance in the past).
As for what I think I’ll bring to the group….it’s hard to know how to answer that. I’ll be bringing myself: my personality, my passions (for prayer, God’s word, children, the poor, hospitality, family, and community, among other things), my perspective, my strengths and weaknesses, but I don’t know exactly how those will fit into the group yet until I get to know the other people in the collaborative and explore what that looks like. My hope is that those things will help compliment and encourage the other people in the group.
What kingdom project are you thinking of choosing? Why? How do you see your project causing discipleship growth in yourself and others?
We want our project to be something with incarnational ministry to the urban poor. Our desire is to see lives and communities transformed by the love of God and, in particular, to see families restored. In some ways, we feel called to more of a lifestyle than just a project, so we need to develop more specifics of what that looks like right now, in this neighborhood and this season of our lives. We feel like a lot of it will be relationship based. We’d like to find ways to connect with people in our neighborhood and start building those relationships. There are things that I’ve been developing in my life – cooking, gardening, sewing, artwork – that may be able to become connection points. As we get to know the area better, hopefully we’ll discover what avenues might work for building relationships here (we’ve talked about doing a community garden next summer as part of that). I’d especially like to work with kids in our area (I’ll be working at Troost again this fall, so that will be part of it). We feel like hospitality is part of it, creating a space (both a physical space and space in our hearts/lives) to welcome people in and show them the love and family of God. We’ve also talked about wanting to have a prayer room that’s accessible for the neighborhood, with space to meet alone with God as well as space for praying with someone (and probably a pot of coffee for good measure).
So basically, something relational, fueled by prayer, with a strong thread of hospitality (welcoming people into our home and our life), all with the goal of showing the love of God. Basically :-).
And why this project? Because I know that God’s heart is moved towards the poor, towards the fatherless and the broken. To me, this is more than just head knowledge; it’s a reality that I can feel every time I’m with the poor. Passages like Isaiah 58 (particularly the call to true fasting so that we can become a “Restorer of ruined homesteads”) and Isaiah 61 burn in my heart every time I read or hear them and I can feel the tug of Christ’s invitation to join Him in His mission to the afflicted, the brokenhearted, the captives, those who mourn, those with listless spirits, the homeless, and the hungry. I know that all people need Jesus, regardless of social class, but when I’m with the poor and needy, the compassion of God comes to life in me and when I’m away from them for a while, my heart years to be with them.
I think this will cause discipleship growth in us because it’s answering a call to become more like Jesus, so we can’t possibly walk this out without seeking His character and Spirit and growing more like Him. And in the process hopefully we’ll learn how to disciple others, particularly in the neighborhood here.
(P.S. Here’s a glimpse of our glorious gold bedroom. More pictures to come once I finish unpacking….)