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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Friday, July 22, 2011

Conversations

I had a conversation the other day with one of our Mission Advocates. Our conversation was about conversations. He shared with me that when he first accepted the MA job, he really didn’t understand what he was supposed to do.

Oh he got the message about how important is it for us all to be engaged in “doing mission” and that “what matters most” is indeed a call to be about Christ’s business in the communities where we live and work. He very much got that we need to be about responding to God’s call to be working in the world, inviting people into community, working at compassionate ministry. He loves the notion of making the world a place that is more about peace and justice.

But he wasn’t sure what he was supposed to do—as a Mission Advocate!

We talked some more about the things he has been trying. He’s had any number of conversations with pastors and other folks who’ve sought him out, because of course, now he has a title and a job and must be able to help them. And they’ve talked about their hopes and concerns for their congregations or their families or the world we live in.

He shared with me how he’d attended some gatherings. One was with a group of folks who’d come to listen to what the Apostle had to tell them. He was glad to have heard her preach, but the best part of that gathering, he reported to me, was the afternoon before that was just an extended conversation with the people who’d come to listen to her. Then he told me that he’d even had a chance to talk with other people who’d been there and that those conversations were even better. Thinking about what they’d heard and then talking some more had deepened the experience for them.

“We weren’t worrying about who had been there and who hadn’t,” he reflected. “We just enjoyed our conversation.”

It was somewhere about here that our conversation took an unexpected turn.

“You know,” said this rookie Mission Advocate, “I’m beginning to think the answer to my own question about what I’m supposed to do is right here. I’m supposed to get people to talk to each other. Not come to listen to someone—either me, or the Mission President, or even the Apostle. My job is to get us all into meaningful conversations with each other. As I look back over the past few months, the richest and deepest and most important times have been the conversations I’ve had with people.”

It might be a bit counter-cultural. People always seem to want to just come and hear what some expert has to say. We try to think of activities that others will find worth attending, things that will entertain or enlighten. But when we look back don’t we always say “wasn’t it great just to get together and talk?”

If we truly care about mission, then our conversations will move us in that direction. At least that’s what we thought, that afternoon, as we were talking.

Posted by Marion

1 comment:

  1. WOW! just WOW!

    what an excellent message... and food to chew on!

    john

    ReplyDelete