I’m doing quick snapshots/reviews of the book written by my friend Kathy Escobar, “Down We Go”, buy it at Amazon here.
As I read the first few chapters in SECTION 1 “Downward Mobility” and Chapter 1 “It Stinks Down Here But I Really Love the Smell”, I can’t help but feel humbled.
I’m a church planter in Long Beach, CA and just moved back here to SoCal from Denver, CO after working at a large missional church as worship/neighborhood pastor for the past three years.
But as I read the first few chapters of KBar’s book (as I affectionally call her), I feel humbled and challenged as I realize that much of my thinking of the WHO of this new faith community has been selfish.
I haven’t really wanted to have a welcome mat that reads “Stinky People Welcome!”. Instead, I want it to say “if you’re another hurt, disconnected or just plain tired Christian, leave now, this church is not for you!”
You see, I’m all about the “unchurched”, about people far from God, not those pesky Christians burnouts looking for a place to belong. The problem is that those people are everywhere and they are the people God keeps putting on my path.
As my friend Hugh Halter once told me “you realize that non-Christians will one day become Christians, and then what are you going to do, kick them out too?!” Ouch.
Kathy’s first few chapters are challenging my narrow call to a few, towards Love and Acceptance of all. When I read chapter 2 “Dreams are Much Prettier When They Are Just Dreams” and chapter 3 “There Is No Them Or Us…It’s Only Us” I think of another quote I once heard, “the dream of community can actually harm real community.”
So who is Neighbors Abbey? (the name of our crazy little faith community as KBar would say).
It’s my uncle Al who is alone and trying to hang on to his job, it’s Craig the drummer and his two children whose wife left them and needs a place to stay. It’s Sean who recently went through a divorce and loves blue grass, it’s Cary my roofer, it’s Stephen and Calee, missionaries from Jamaica, it’s our own children, it’s my dear wife.
All of life is a Neighbors Abbey.
And if unchurched people start showing up, and if neighbors begin to see our love and are drawn to Jesus through our mission, than let God take care of that not me.
This is what Down We Go means to me so far.
Until next time, keep the faith,