I’ve spent the last 4 years in flux and transition. I had been in ministry all my adult life and even in that role I was always in flux. Urban ministry was my context and the shifts I had in how I view ministry and being the Body of Christ in that context was a big creative mess most of the time. Yet, it was ministry and full time and in one denomination.
The last four years have been major transition years. I still love ministry, but have transitioned denominations and ministry roles and a lot of theological views. Full time ministry is no longer my focus. The past years I’ve spent exploring how to get involved more with organizations that help the marginalized in our world. It’s a gift given to me as our family has been able to start up a family charitable trust.
The early work in this field has led me to a more beautiful discovery: we need more creative solutions in our world and that is perfect work for me. I want the leading of the creative Spirit of God to show me new directions and find those organizations working for change and partnering with them.
It’s a mess. A beautiful, creative mess. There isn’t a “metric” for success in this kind of work and that’s fantastic to me. I had spent 30 years fighting “metrics” in the church world and finally threw up my hands in surrender.
Changed lives aren’t a metric, but that’s what the church was seeking.
David Brooks writes a column at the end of every year he calls the “Sidney Awards.” He provides links to the best long form writing he has read over the year and it’s a great resource column for me.
This year the standout article was called “Everything is Broken” (HERE). It’s intense and tough to read if you are into measuring metrics of success. I loved the article immediately. It’s not just declaring “EVERYTHING IS BROKEN” and leaving it there. The call is for change. MESSY CHANGE.
In this article I found my goal for 2022:
We should seek out friction and thorniness, hunt for complexity and delight in unpredictability. Our lives should be marked not by “comps” and metrics and filters and proofs of concept and virality but by tight circles and improvisation and adventure and lots and lots of creative waste.
And not just to save ourselves, but to save each other. The vast majority of Americans are not ideologues. They are people who wish to live in a free country and get along with their neighbors while engaging in profitable work, getting married, raising families, being entertained, and fulfilling their American right to adventure and self-invention.
There are dreams I have for change and I do not have one possible solution for any of it. It doesn’t bother me. I know answers will be complex and thorny and complicated and messy. I need those around me to understand that and hold on for the ride. I may very well end up throwing up my hands in surrender on this project as well.
I don’t know. At this point, I don’t care. I know I am looking for creative change because that is the gift given us as humans from our Creator. I am weary of the “flatness” described in this article. I have always sought out more. That is has been a creative mess, so I will look for MORE creative mess in 2022.
My resolution for 2022: CREATE MORE MESS