This will be six months of radical change in my life. GOE’s are next week, and after that one more paper to end the last fall semester of my seminary experience. My future is wide open; I have experienced the provision of God too many times in my life to be fearful of a future that is completely unknown.
I was looking through my wishlist this morning after searching through the Alban Institute’s website for a recent study I heard about concerning the strategic position of Anglo-Catholic (not the reactionary sort) churches and church growth. I saw the books in my wishlist, and listened to some music from the CDç—´ I hope to buy when I can once again listen to music (too busy for that now), especially the band Sigur-Ros from Iceland. I added some books, and here is the rub. The books I looked through (a couple recommended by the Alban Institute) were topically completely different in many aspects from the books I would have chosen one, two, or three years ago. Change in my position, in my location, and in my invocation are all coming quickly.
I think I am returning to by experiential past as I more into what truly interests me with regards to future vocation. During lunch recently, our table was engaged in the normal conversation. ThD student Ron mentioned that one of the other students present was (or is to be) a liturgist. We went around the table and Ron voiced his opinion on what each of us would be. He referred to me as the å…Žvangelist.� That was quite surprising. Maybe, in some form, maybe. I think of myself, once again, as a é›»iscipler.� A teacher – one who calls people into a realization, and then to deepen the relationship that results from the realization. Perhaps, in the calling, is the evangelism.
The future is wide open, and despite what I said above it is a bit disconcerting. I don’t quite know how to navigate through a search for a position in this kind of work or this kind of church. I realized this morning that the method of spiritual-formation I am experienced with and good at, frankly, rests in Discipleship. Not so much the individualistic spiritual-formation methods that are popular today (nothing wrong with them at all!), but in the small-group structure of discipleship. Within the context of a trusted small group of people, discipleship takes on a very different dynamic. Jesus models it, or rather Jesus presents us with a model. Evangelicals are very effective in the use of small group discipleship, but lacking in a holistic sense of Christian spirituality.
So anyway, we can listen to the sounds of Sigur-Ros while… who knows what???