Last month I shared some Allume vision with you… about becoming a people of living invitation. And of course, as many of you know, oftentimes writing something becomes the catalyst for getting to live it more deeply.
I just returned from Uganda on a writing trip with Allume partner, Sole Hope. Carey Bailey, our Allume Creative Director, and I joined them for over a week. We were able to see the work that they are doing there, to participate, and to write about what we saw, and what we learned.
I started off by inviting readers to journey along with me on my own blog.
What began as a simple invitation to journey together, quickly turned into a wild ride as many of you were pouring out prayers and encouragements on my behalf. From the moment that my team was forced to leave me alone in the airport, to the tears I shed upon finally getting to Uganda and investing in the work there, so many of you came with me.
Comment threads can become lifelines to know that our words are in fact soaking into souls, and that the journeys we have the privileges of living are, in fact, being lived in community. Your words and prayers were breathing hope and life to me there, and then I saw my words from Uganda being used to stir souls to movement back home in the States.
Isn’t that what we’re all doing here anyhow? Figuring out how to do life together…to stir one another, to sharpen one another, to encourage one another?
I want to steward the moments of this life well. It is my heart to see us, as the Allume community, steward our lives for the Kingdom of heaven. We steward our time, our spaces, our voices, and our words all for the glory of the Lord. I want to be a people who steward our hearts and the corner seats on our sofas with a cup of coffee in hand, for the benefit of a broken world.
We can’t invite online well, if we can’t invite in reality well.
Open doors begin with open hearts.
In the past couple of weeks since I’ve been home, there has been a LOT of talk on the internet about the church and invitation… who is or isn’t presumed invited to the table of Jesus.
For myself, and for this community, I want to be the first to say, if we are only willing to share a meal with those who think the same as we do, then I think we’re missing the point. If we can wash the feet of the poor, but not of our enemies (or of those we might even vehemently disagree with), then we’re part way there, but still not all-in.
To be a people of invitation, we have to ask what it looks like to be a people of big, Jesusy hearts. Hearts that love far and deep and wide and to the ends of the earth.
Love doesn’t always mean agreeing, but it does mean patience, kindness, humility, rejoicing with truth, bearing all things, believing all things, hoping all things, enduring all things.
The thing about love is that it’s not conditional…and it never fails.
If we want to be a people of invitation, then first, we have to figure out what it looks like to be a people of love.