I was talking with my dad over the holiday about work and management and he was telling me about how some managers were “ganging up” on another manager because her style was different. It was so different that they wanted her out. Then we proceeded to talk about my decision to start convergence with diversity as one of it’s core values and how it’s such a difficult undertaking. “Is it bad that people who are similar in culture and class worship in their respective groups?” This was the question before me. After little thought… YES!!! IT’S A PROBLEM!!! Church is supposed to be a community that embraces “the other” no matter what “the other” looks like. It’s like the manager with a different style. We often respond by saying, “go find a place where you fit in.” It’s not just a category of class or color. We’re all different. So, instead of excluding “the other” we are to embrace on another and celebrate our humanity in all of its diversity. We are to be a community that isn’t just about attracting similar people to us but about seeking after people that are not like us. We are to represent the city in which we live. We are to be the “new humanity” that God through Jesus has created us to be – a humanity that in our differences acknowledges God as our King and Father. We are to struggle in community and relationships. The struggle and the notion of reconciliation being impossible is the precise reason for why we need Jesus.
So begins 2008. It was a completely anti-exciting entrance of this new year as I watched ‘the ball’ drop on t.v. and then proceeded to fall asleep. This year, however, is filled with new beginnings.
The Dignitas Project is funded (at least for a few months), has gifted and good hearted leadership in place, and is ready to move forward. It’s interesting timing as Kenya is going through incredible turmoil right now because of the controversial elections. I’m not sure how to interpret things, but I’m in prayer for the country and our next steps in it.
Convergence begins. Where? Oakland. How? I’m not exactly sure. Who? I’m looking for a willing people. I’m looking for people that are convicted and led to draw the city of Oakland to Jesus. I’m looking for people that are more concerned about changing the city than forming the perfect church. I’m looking for people that are willing to persevere through conflict and hardship for the sake of Christ and establishing His kingdom here on earth as it is in Heaven.
How appropriate is it to begin this year by reading God’s word to Joshua before he enters into the promised land… “Be strong and courageous…” It’s time to rise up and step into the land…