It’s been 19 years. I can still remember where I was sitting. The memories of halting the retreat where I was attending, huddling around the one TV with bad reception, the shock… calling my family…
Coming out of that time I also knew the word I had from the Lord: “Prepare the Body. The world is different. Get back to discipleship.”
This is where I failed. Miserably.
I began to talk more about spiritual formation. There was a very long sermon series on the Sermon on the Mount drawn from Dallas Willard’s book The Divine Conspiracy. There was a serious call to discipleship. A group met intentionally for spiritual formation for a year.
The world had changed. I was part of that “bridge” generation that would remember life before that day.
I can remember the first college class I taught where the students had just been born around 9/11 so they had no memory of that day. I was teaching living history to them.
We’re in a world that has not mourned that day… not really.
We don’t “mourn”… or maybe I should use the vernacular: “We don’t do mourning.”
We’re Americans. We get revenge.
For a year I pushed hard. Then… I quit. I mean, I kept talking, but I did so based on a bad assumption: everyone saw that the world had changed.
They did not see it. So many kept clawing back for a time before 9/11. There was a false hope we could get it all back. We’re still in that tailspin.
I failed. Miserably.
We needed in-depth discipleship. We needed a call to spiritual formation as individuals and as the Church. We needed to mourn the loss and look for the new day springing on us.
We need that today. And we’re failing all over again.
We need smaller groups. We need equipped pastors/leaders who will shepherd the Church. Decades of “developing leaders” has wrecked the American Church. We went BIG… and we needed to go SMALL.
We don’t need digital content alone. We need shepherds of smaller groups. We need church leadership to TRUST the shepherds of the smaller groups. Digital content can help, but we need CARE. We need soul care.
19 years. I spent ONE doing something urgent that I knew deep down was the right thing. I’ve been chafing over that failure ever since.