Living a lifestyle of following Jesus can bring the most amazing opportunities.
I had one on my way to Denver last week. It was one of those days where I packed a half an hour before I left, and got to the airport late thinking that I had my husband Bill's premier status, only to be told that I had to go to the back of a VERY long security line. So, when I got on the plane, I breathed a huge sigh of relief and thought, "Good, now I can finally relax!"
But, of course, Jesus had other plans.
He sat me right next to a man that had just gone to a church in his town, Boulder, that Sunday. He hadn't been to a church for years and decided to go. He left in the middle because all he heard were pleas for money and a sermon that made him feel judged. He thought "who needs this?" and left, leaving a piece of his heart more bitter and closed off than ever.
I didn't know all this when he asked me what I did. I told him I was a pastor and that I was leading Missio Lux, a church that seeks to help people live a lifestyle of Jesus.
I spoke about the Missional Communities and how our time, money and relationships were freed up to experience and share the freedom and hope Jesus offers with everyone.
I told him about the Missio Lux structure that enables us to develop deep friendships where we do life together.
I spoke about having funds to live out our missional purposes, rather than giving it to the church budget.
But, most of all, I spoke about how Jesus came to earth to pursue a relationship with us, he did not come to judge us.
I also spoke about my fascination with the Bible, that it was the most interesting book I had ever read.
After I was done talking, then he told me his story. He spent a good amount of time, (after all we had it being held captive on the airplane), venting about his recent experience in the church and his overall experience in his life. He vented about all the Christians that he does business with, where he sees them live their lives on Sunday but also through the rest of the week and it does not match up.
I didn't try to change his opinion. I listened to him. I agreed with him where I could. I prayed for him under my breath and asked Jesus to shine his light on his spirit and to bring it to life. I prayed for more divine appointments to come into his life.
But, I knew that I had been given a divine appointment.
I was able to help love this man closer to Jesus, and to present a compelling picture for how our faith can be a lifestyle that makes a difference.
I began to dream about what could happen if there were thousands of us living a Missio Lux lifestyle of following Jesus, responding to the opportunities that Jesus gave to us wherever we are.....perhaps the conversation on the airplane would have looked very different.
Maybe this man would have told me how radically his life had changed because he had a community of people that loved him unconditionally. Maybe he would have told me what his missional purpose was and how he was making intentional sacrifices to carry it out. Perhaps he would have told me how Jesus meant everything to him and that he never thought that following Jesus could be so adventurous. Maybe he would have been telling the person next to him how much his life mattered because of the lifestyle he had chosen.