every first wednesday of each month, i get together with a group of other local pastors. fwiw, these folks can be characterized as: missional, emerging, churchplanters and other misfits. this group unofficially began about four years ago because a couple of us were very lonely and isolated; wondering to ourselves if we were the only crazy and stupid people in the larger seattle area. with no particular agenda, we migrate to different host locations and attempt to grow in friendship, loose accountability, and our love for the Kingdom. we share our values, struggles and joys, and make fun of each other.
the group fluctuates from 5 to 15. since its inception, there’s been a core group of about four: myself, eric likkel (emmaus road in belltown), karen ward (church of the apostles in fremont), and dwight friesen (faculty at mars hill graduate school and pastor at quest.nu in the eastside). we get together with no particular agenda but every time, our conversations are rich and stimulating. yesterday, our conversations bounced around from urban involvment, what it means to speak against culture, meaning of the ‘gospel,’ and the cross and suffering; we also had the privilege of hearing from several new visitors to the group either sprouting or sustaining ‘ministry’ in belltown and downtown tacoma.
when you check out our website which hasn’t been updated in about four years, it’s amazing because i have no idea where most of those people are anymore on that list. life happens and so, people come and go. almost every meeting, we have new visitors including new churchplanters. while i am VERY excited to have other missional planters and pastors joining the journey, i honestly wonder how many of them will be around a year from now. hopefully, all of them. i sincerely do.
that’s probably one of the unknown factors of ‘emerging churches’ or younger pastors – our fortitude has yet to be tested like that of previous generations. it’s not that say that we don’t know suffering, ordeals, struggles, and opposition because that would be inaccurate but the prevailing question for me deals with our sense of idealism – which, in my humble opinion, is the strength and achilles of the so called emerging church movement. what happens when our incredible and beautiful sense of idealism is confronted by reality?