In the midst of thinking about stewardship and church development, I was reminded of a post from the blog Momastery about the temptation to lose sight of one’s mission in favor of easier definitions of ‘success.’ It’s a post about how fiercely following your mission is actually the only way to ensure you ever get close to succeeding in that mission. It’s a post about trusting in having Enough.
For the unfamiliar: Momastery is a popular progressive-Christian-‘mommy’ blog which began a growth spurt a couple of years ago. (Motherhood + monastery = Momastery. Readers of the blog are dubbed Monkees because they are like monks at the Momastery, but not quite.) Author Glennon Melton knew that the blog’s “success” was not rooted in numbers or fame, but in authentic community. Success for Momastery was about sharing. It was about honesty. It was about freedom. It was mostly about grace. It was definitely about salvation. She also knew that it wasn’t actually about her, although she had created the blog and her words fueled and nourished its life. She insists that Momastery is a shared mission, and that at the heart of its community is always the person they’ve yet to meet.
From her post:
Our goal is to go deep here, not wide. We are collecting hearts, not exposure, and certainly not cash.
Our goals are to be careful, to be slow and pay attention and look closely at each other and to re-think and pray and feel and wake-up and care and connect. So we can become braver and live bigger and realer on this Earth.
We are successful because chances are that tonight some tired and lonely mom will click on a friend’s link and get lost in our essays and our comments and our love for each other. And she will ignore her husband for hours and she will cry a little and laugh a lot and she will read on and on and on. And it may take her months to rally the courage to comment, but she will meet us here every day because she has finally found her people! She has finally found a group of women whose only motive is to love and laugh together and who are NOT FOR SALE. And this will help her believe and be peaceful and feel a little less suspicious and more comfortable and safe and brave on this Earth. And so she will be full of joy. DONE. REVOLUTION WON. Without Oprah!
Please listen to me. The revolution is not in the future, the revolution is not on the Today Show. The revolution is in one quiet kitchen at a time. One Monkee at a time. Slow and steady. Tiny as a mustard seed. The Revolution, the kingdom of God, is INSIDE each of us. It is won or lost THERE, in each heart. Not on Prime Time.
She then quotes Luke 17:
Once Jesus was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was coming, and he answered, ‘The kingdom of God is not coming with things that can be observed; nor will they say, “Look, here it is!” or “There it is!” For, in fact, the kingdom of God is among you.’
How would it change our stewardship and church development programs if we thought about our mission like Glennon and her Monkees think about theirs? What could we let go of so that honesty, grace, love, community, salvation are lived out, fiercely? How can we tell the story we know from God in ways that are so compellingly honest that we will be invited to hear others’ stories?