A Show About Nothing
Do you want to know what’s the hardest question I get about Allendale?
Is it, “Why didn’t you play pro football?” Nope. “I was limited by talent,” is a simple and truthful answer.
How about, “How long are you going to live in Allendale?” Easy answer. “As long as God calls us to.”
Maybe it’s, “How do you solve poverty?” Not really the hardest question. I can give some thoughts about relief, rehabilitation and development. And I get off-the-hook because no one in the world has the perfect answer to this.
No, these are not the most difficult questions to explain to others in Allendale, or to friends from Greenville, SC to Savannah, GA.
Want me to ramble and struggle to be concise? Ask me this question:
“So, what do you DO?”
Then watch me squirm and stutter.
Kids, Kids, Kids
When men meet each other, they all ask the standard question. What do you do? Or, Where do you work? But I really struggle to answer in a clear and concise way.
Maybe it’s because of the changes in jobs I’ve had – from the Boys & Girls Club (1 year) to teaching (5 months), and from tutoring (4 months) to Community Liaison (1 year), and from Coaching (1 year and counting) to Workforce Development (3 months and counting). And these jobs have overlapped with each other, and with a smorgasbord volunteer activities.
But if you ask me, I’ll explain that we felt called here to minister to kids and families. I’ll explain things we’ve done with kids, and the kids that we’ve known. You’ll hear me say “kids” at least 47 times.
And while we do believe that working with children is a key part of the mission we are on, we know that our ministry is not our identity or our chief purpose.
More than anything, we are called to follow Jesus by living incarnationally in this world.
So then, what do we do? Our goal is to spread the gospel through everyday relationships, (and God showed me that I needed to be more intentional to do this).
“A Show about Nothing”
A few weeks ago, I was trying to explain this struggle about what we do, to a friend from Greenville. I attempted to explain how we are sort of like missionaries, and sort of not. How we just want to be in Allendale.
With all his quiet astuteness, he summed up our mission. “You’re like Seinfeld. You’re a show about nothing.”
Yes! We’re about doing nothing more than living life in Allendale, engaging and serving this community. Yes, that may seem like nothing, but we know that living incarnationally is the totality that Jesus has called us to.
After all, the biggest contribution isn’t what we do in Allendale. The biggest thing is just being here, just being a part of this community.
- Update on My New Jobs (January 2012)
- Update on Our Jobs and Ministries (January 2013)
- What’s Our Ultimate Purpose in Allendale?
- 6 Ways to Be Missional in 2013
- 14 Can’t-Fail Principles to Earn the Trust of a New Community
- Are You New? (page)
- 2 Common Mistakes in Missions
- FAQ: Why Are You Leaving Allendale? — Part 1 and Part 2
- Community and Mission Everywhere