I’ve been reading a lot online regarding the recent kerfuffle with World Vision changing it’s hiring policy; Sarah Bessey wrote the best piece out of all of them. It’s not even about World Vision, really, as much as it’s about the future of the Living Church and the pruning of our institutional churches:
I walked this path years ago: it is not an easy path. But there are a lot of us out here waiting for you.
Can we ever really leave our mother church? Perhaps not. The complexity of tangled up roots isn’t easily undone. And yes, I think there is a way to reclaim and redeem our traditions with an eye on the future.
But maybe this isn’t your time to do that. Maybe this is your time to let go and walk away.
I know you’re grieving. Let yourself grieve. It’s the end of something, it’s worthwhile to notice the passing of it, to sit in the space and look at the pieces before you head out.
In the early days, when you are first walking away, you might feel afraid. You don’t need to be afraid. It can be confusing to separate from what so-and-so-big-guy-in-the-big-organization says about you or people like you. It can be disorienting to walk out into the wilderness on purpose. It can be lonely. It can be exhilarating. It can be terrifying.
My friend, don’t stay in a religious institution or a religious tradition out of fear. Fear should not drive your decisions: let love motivate you.
Lean into your questions and your doubts until you find that God is out here in the wilderness, too.
I have good news for you, broken-hearted one: God is here in the wandering, too. In fact, you might just find, as Jonathan Martin wrote, that the wilderness is the birthplace of true intimacy with God for you.
Jesus isn’t an evangelical. You get to love Jesus without being an evangelical.