So I’ve been thinking about posting in a slightly different direction on Sundays. Still quirky, just slightly more serious, and dare I say, purposeful? Yikes. You may still see regular posts that pop up on Sundays- particularly if I ever actually get the Facebook link up and going. After all, I have a big-girl job to go to during the week and much of my writing time is on weekends.
These posts are my personal opinions, thoughts, and considerations. I encourage you to also have your own.
So, here’s the premise. I call it Guerilla Christianity. Its the best descriptor I could come up with. Many Christians see attending church and participating in church activities as the culmination of their faith. I want to be very clear – I think church is a good thing, and certainly would never, ever discourage someone from attending. Church creates community, fellowship, and a place to learn. It can give people a location, teachings, and a place to explore their faith. What I am referring to is people who don’t take their faith off the pew.
To me, faith represents the personal relationship we have with our Maker. You can’t have faith in someone you don’t know. This is the primary difference between faith and religion. Faith is a personal relationship, Religion is the set of traditions and teachings that are followed by individuals who choose to adhere to them. Again – religion is not necessarily bad. It can be very good! However, religion is made up of humans, and humans are inherently flawed. We tend to be even more flawed in groups. Too many times we place too much emphasis on the trappings and tradition and lose sight of our faith – our personal relationship.
So, what is Guerilla Christianity (or GC – since I don’t want to type more than necessary). It can certainly include going to church, or being involved in a religion – they are in no way mutually exclusive. GC just goes further. Open your eyes and your heart. See opportunities in every day life. Act your faith. Guerilla warfare typically involves small groups of local individuals who can overcome larger numbers due to knowing the terrain, adopting uncommon techniques, and constantly being on the move. Guerilla Christianity is a lot like that. Be ready to move, be ready to act, and live your life according to your faith.
Soooooo, does this mean I’m going to start a lot more conversations with ‘let me tell you about Jesus?’ No, it actually doesn’t. Here’s the thing. People who are struggling aren’t ready to hear that – or they’ve heard it too many times. GC is not about converting people, its about loving people. If you are a person of faith, and you live your faith, you don’t have to tell people what you believe – they will see it in your actions. Does this mean you should hide your faith or your beliefs? Nope – not at all. its about letting that conversation develop naturally. If you interact with others in a genuine way – basically being in touch with your true self and staying true to it – you build trust. When someone trusts you, they are more willing to open up hard discussions with you. Discussions like ‘hey, a lot of my life has been really hard and a lot of bad things have happened. Why should I believe God loves me?’ Yep, tough conversations. Tough questions. Questions that can’t be answered with ‘just have faith!’ They need more.
So, if you are going to be a Guerilla Christian – be prepared. You may find answers in church, in scripture, in music, in life, from others, and hopefully from ALL of these. GC doesn’t require you to be perfect (thank GOODNESS! because I screw up all the time). It does require you to know your true self.
Earlier this year, I went to a Casting Crowns concert. It was amazing. Absolutely amazing. Their lead singer/songwriter (and youth pastor) is Mark Hall. He brought faith forward in such an easy, natural way. I’ve never met him personally, but I am just guessing that he is a Guerilla Christian (although since I made that term up a couple weeks ago, he probably doesn’t know what that is. Actually – he might, I think other people may have made up the term first – but I didn’t look them up or read what they had written or anything, so for my own purposes, I was clearing a trail). He talked about the focus of their current album ‘Thrive’ (this album is fantastic by the way) being ‘Dig Deep, Reach Out.’ I’m hoping he doesn’t mind that I have adopted that idea and taken it as my own touchstone. Dig deep – dig into scripture, dig into yourself, dig into your faith (personal relationship). Reach out – not only reaching out to others, but also reaching out to the highest reaches of what you have to offer. Embrace your gifts, value who you are.
I may just be writing this for myself. That’s ok. I have faith that if someone needs this – they’ll find it. If this does speak to you – don’t hesitate to reach out.
Dig deep my friends.