I sat in a living room last night in East Austin dreaming, praying, discussing, and planning with a group of men I never would have known just a handful of years ago. Through networking initiatives like the Austin PlantR Network (www.plantr.org), a handful of lunches, meetings, emails, and phone calls, we each found ourselves looking at each other and asking the question, "What if"?
So there we were: Two white dudes, three latinos, an african-american, a native-american, and an asian-american... all pastors, all feeling called to be a part of a collective spiritual and social renewal effort in the amazing city of Austin. Some are reformed, some wesleyan, some from the holiness tradition, and honestly some have spiritual journeys I'm still trying to figure out. One of us (who will remain unnamed) preaches in flip-flops, another wears a robe. There is much we do differently, but have at least one thing in common: the belief that it's time to look past our secondary theological disagreements and not just "say" it won't divide... but actually take major steps towards partnering together to reach a city that needs hope more than we need to be right.
It was very encouraging. The Spirit was overwhelming. And while it ended up being a four-hour meeting, I left refreshed. Something just seemed right. While part of me wishes I could fast forward five years and see what happens, I have a feeling that the joy will be in the journey of simply "what's next".
To be continued.