Randy Lovejoy, a pastor turned “missionary to the culture,” has had some adventures lately getting to know people he would never have encountered in his former role as pastor.
He connected with a friend-of-a-friend who had hit a hard time in life and has been disaffected from church. She asked Randy if he would be willing to speak to a group of 10 people she wants to gather on the green pasture by the sheep in her backyard. They would talk together about faith, the kids would shear the sheep, and we would have a meal together. It would be a gathering to include Christians, Jews, Muslims, the uncommitted… a starting point for them to move forward in faith and community. They also talked about Randy working with those of the group who want to seek God in Christ and taking them further down that path.
Over a Sunday morning breakfast at this woman’s house, he met some friends of hers—a couple who had left a secure financial position to travel the world on a quest for spiritual answers to life’s big questions. They both have a Christian background, but have been deeply hurt by the church and by Christians. They are “spiritual” but can’t seek our Lord through the institutional church. Maybe they will one day, but to get there they need space to work through their wounds and their questions.
Here’s Randy’s reflection on his recent encounters:
“These are the very people I feel called to serve. This is so ‘out of the box’ for me and yet it is a perfect progression of what God has been leading me into over the last number of years. This is the kind of work I know I am called to… to imitate the Father’s heart toward the Prodigal Son: “But while he was still a long way off his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him” (Luke 15:20). I am called to work with people who are a long way off from committing to a church but who still need help in pursuing their desire for God. I am called to help them and to make sure that as many as possible have a chance to meet the living Christ. My calling is getting clearer and clearer… still murky, but I am excited.”
Randy’s story makes me wonder what God might do with more “missionaries to the culture.”
You can find Randy’s new website—visible, but still under construction—at www.enactedprayers.com. The website and social media hub will kick off in August of 2015 and that if you would like to have the first post sent to you, you can email Randy at firstname.lastname@example.org.