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An allthings( ) Case Study


Yesterday, I met with a small group of leaders from across North America to talk about a case study—one that I wrote in response to my experience interviewing Calgary mayor Jyoti Gondek (and the amazing serendipities/connections that followed).


I presented the case study with the hope that I’d be able to more clearly discern where God is leading in this allthings( ) experiment.


Here's a 7-point composite summary of what I heard/learned:


1.        God is already where I’m being led—like a family member at the airport waiting for me to arrive, or a friend at the front door of their home welcoming me in for a meal. God is always ahead of, before, and with me (so chill out John!).


2.        Disorientation is a necessary disposition for following the Spirit. All of my life I’ve controlled my orientation (or tried to)—so to give up control is to, of course, feel disoriented.  Surprising new places and new ways of operating are rightly unsettling things.


3.        God is clearly calling me to ‘do what I do’ via a live and dialogical format. For years, I’ve over-prepared everything (in order to control all outcomes). Live interviews bring a freshness, timeliness, and power to the task of "naming of what God is doing in the world". What's said feels more like good news.


4.        My new calling is all about making hospitable spaces where others realize that they can talk about God—their spiritual yearnings, desires, and thoughts—in a free and open way. Meeting in public spaces, on common turf, without the trappings, language, and expectations of church, changes everything.


5.        Looking back, God has been shaping me for this call for decades—as a land developer, new church planter, and consummate risk-taker. What I’m doing now is a natural outflow of how God made me.

 

6.        My continued desire for a community of people to come alongside on this journey is a good one. I need the support and accountability of friends and cannot do this alone.


7.        God is clearly calling me to step into this live interview direction and I need to "trust the flow". The passion and love I exuded in conversing about this case study was very instructive. It sounds like such a cliché, but all I need to do is follow my heart. 

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