May 9, 2018
A year ago, I (Joe) shared a simple question: “Where might you have seen God at work in the world recently?” Many of our first Mission Team meetings began by connecting through this simple question. The beauty of such a question is that it does not seek certainty or a specific, clear answer. Rather, it invites us to pause, reflect, and wonder. And if we practice asking good questions like this enough, they even begin to change the very way we move in the world. Instead of pausing to reflect back, we begin to interpret the present through our questions—effectively changing our posture as we go about our days.
During coffee hour this past Sunday, we attempted to practice asking good questions together as we shared some of the thoughts from the Dwight Zscheile’s book, The Agile Church. We focused on the changing nature of life and how the church has (or hasn’t) changed to meet people where they are. The conversation was rich, but it was only a start—good questions can be returned to often, but they also have a tendency to lead to more questions!
Can we look for God out ahead of us in the world? Can we learn to listen deeply to each other and those who are different from us? Can we embrace our rapidly changing lives and apply the ancient teachings of our tradition to those lives in new ways? Can we be open to experimentation and play?
These are big questions, but the God of resurrection tells us to expect the unexpected. So, where might you have seen God in the world recently? Where might St. John’s be sent to love and serve the lord? Zscheile encourages us to ask many such good questions. For example:
- What relationships with neighbors already exist in your congregation’s life through which you might learn more about the surrounding community’s hopes, struggles, and dreams?
- Where might a useable past lie in your congregation’s life and history?
- What fears keep your church from engaging in the tough conversations and risky experiments that might open up a new future?
- Where is innovation taking place in your church?
- What might need to be borrowed and forgotten for the sake of learning in your church?
- Which neighbors in your life and world might you be called to accompany on their journey?
Good questions, indeed!