Sunday, March 09, 2008

Lynch Update (March 2008)

Six months ago, Aleta and I responded to God's call for us to leave paid church work and move into a replicable lifestyle of following Christ... the kind of lifestyle regular folks juggling jobs, families, and other responsibilities can imitate. The Lord led us to Phoenix and has continued to explain to us this new and yet ancient vision of life.

It's been humbling and amazing to have "ministry" as simply a normal part of our daily lives, "church" as something that happens when we gather with our Christ-following friends to worship, pray and learn together, "jobs" as ordinary, industrious contexts where we build things, earn money, and love on those who don't yet know Jesus or his love. The segregations that used to frustrate us have begun blending together as overlapping relational spheres that make up a single, integrated lifestyle.

What a God! He pours out such overwhelming grace on us as he patiently humbles us and opens our blind eyes to this simple and yet supernatural way of living! It's like we're closer to the life humanity was made for than we've ever been before. I can't adequately explain how full of praise we are for all this! It's all the work of our Master Architect God. Like Solomon says in Psalm 127:1, "Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain."

It all continues to be such an incredible and humbling journey! One that leaves us more in love with Jesus and full of his peace and purpose than ever before. It increasingly convinces us that Christ's kingdom is radically different from what many hear about in their churches. Far from the institutional realities most think of, it's more of a lifestyle and a people than an organization or religion. It was demonstrated largely by how Jesus and His disciples lived. It's the "Way" Jesus referred to - a surrendered, selfless, available, gracious, courageous way in which a person entrusts him/herself to God alone while delighting in his followers, living and working among the needy while bringing the light of God's loving redemption to the darkest, most overlooked corners of humanity.

Aleta and I continue to long for the visions God has given us of intimate, local kingdom community living in proximity, ministering and doing life among the needy, and creating spaces in which community can grow. But while our passion for such things swells within us, we remain in a formative season of waiting. It's been over 1/2 year since we began chasing this vision; and the path forward still seems somewhat mysterious. The Lord continues to bless us at our jobs and appears to be leading us soon to move into what may be our permanent local context for life and primary relationships. It appears to be a huge answer to prayer that's different from our previous three ideas of Tempe, Guadalupe, or North Phoenix. So typical of our surprising and faithful God.

We continue to gather Fridays at 6pm at the Fritz's house for food, fellowship, worship, prayer, and learning. We love Dave, Pam, Jeremy, Emily, Brandon, and Dawn and are ever-grateful for the opportunity to grow these family relationships. We're still not sure what the long term future is for the group is, especially if we move further away. Even now, though we all live in North Phoenix, we're somewhat scattered. It's an imperfect middle step, but still an overwhelming and sustaining blessing for the season. Ultimately, Aleta and I are praying that the Lord will lead each of us on paths toward regaining the reality of Acts 2 and 4 in each of the locations God calls us to. It's our prayer for the whole people of God - a prayer we invite you to join us in.

We continually thank God for his generous provision in:

* Aleta's trip to Bangladesh / India
... leaving tomorrow, Aleta will be three weeks in Southeast Asia encouraging and partnering with our friend Sarah as she brings Christ's loving redemption to women locked in the sex trade. This is a praise and a prayer. Updates will be posted on this site in coming days and weeks.

* Friends, old & new
... those who continue to hold us up in prayer and encourage us over the phone and email. Edward and Kim (soon to be married), Mike Moore, Mike & Ali (also soon to be married), Bobby & Hope (heading toward Africa), Sarah (living, loving & serving in India), Colleen (on a 1 year trip serving around the world), and more. New and reconnected friendships like Dawn, Pam, Dave, Brandon, Jeremy, Emily, Zack, James, Aaron, Randi, etc... People we love who are hungry for more.

* Our jobs
... Aleta and I continue to be prospered financially and ministerially in our work contexts.

* Our temporary home
... for basically free - thank you Zack.

* A down payment for a home
... thanks to our jobs and other financial provisions.


With such praise, we remain full of fervent prayer for things that lay heavily on our hearts:

* God's leading in where to buy a home near missional Christ-followers and among the needy.

* A locally connected team of partners who embrace this radical vision of kingdom community and for us to join with as kindred hearts.

* An artist community for Aleta to break into.

* Massive spiritual awakening in Phoenix, in Arizona, in the nation, and in the world. That God's kingdom comes on earth as in heaven.


4 comments:

Adam Graber said...

Thanks John for the update. Sounds like your lives are busy and fulfilling! We miss you guys, and Aleta's baked goods.

I'm reading a book called "The Hidden Power of Electronic Culture." Terrible name, phenomenal book. Subtitle, "How media shapes faith, _______, and the church." The author is a Mennonite pastor in Phoenix and I thought of you (the Phoenix part, not the Mennonite part, that's Mike). Check it out.

Kevin Anderson said...

My name is Kevin Anderson, I was given a link to your blog from a friend. I am a pastor at a small faith community in the downtown Phoenix area called oneplace. If you want to get together sometime I'd love to hear where you are at and what your hopes and dreams are for the Phoenix area. My email address is kevin@oneplacechurch.com

Peace

John Lynch said...

Adam! Thanks for the encouraging shout-out brother! Thanks for the book recommend too. Every "Lost" night Aleta and I talk about you guys. We miss you! ...and miss feeding you! How are YOU doing, man? (I'll email too.)

John Lynch said...

Hey Kevin! Thanks for the note. I'm eager to connect. I'll drop you an email and hope to get together soon! Peace in Christ.