My Application

I officially applied to be in the CQMissional Certificate in Missional Leadership Program today. Here are some answers to a few select questions:

What or Who Motivated you to Apply
At the most basic this is a huge chance for us to take a risk to do something new and uncomfortable and see what God does. I am excited to get to learn about myself, my giftings, and my passions, about new people, new ways of serving people, and new ideas about ministry and faith.

In one or two sentences, what is your favorite  movie and why?
This one is hard…im not very good at picking favorite things! I really like The Game. The first time I watched it I loved the challenge of trying to figure out what was going on. I think that what I really like about it was that overall a big take away of the movie to me was “things are not as they seem”…which I generally think is a good way to approach a lot of life.

Complete this sentence: “I think others would describe me as…”
A servant. I think people would say I am somebody who is willing to help others out in any way I can.

In one or two sentences, what is your favorite  book and why?
The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. My parents read the Chronicals to my brother and I when we were little, and we spent a lot of time running around the yard as Peter and Edmund. I have returned to the book (really the whole series) several times and I always see the Gospel more clearly. This one simple book makes Christ’s love and sacrifice more clear to me then Mel’s take ever could.

Are you presently involved in a dating relationship?
I am married…so….we go on dates sometimes, We also live together.
If YES, how long have you been involved?  Is it serious?  How do you think the CML will affect this relationship?

We have been married for almost 6 years, that seems serious. It is hard to even imagine how our marriage will change in the next 10 months. It is going to be really good for us to be discovering who we are as individuals, and as husband and wife. We are going to be stretched as we experience new things, and grow through new situations. I think there will be some hard times, but I am excited to see our marriage grow as we grow.

What does a relationship to Christ mean to you?  What does it mean to join God’s kingdom?  How do you do that?
This I know: I am fallen and sinful, my relationship with God is broken. Christ fixed my fallenness and made it possible to have a relationship with him and his father. After that the idea of “a relationship with Christ” gets harder for me to grasp. How can I possibly be friends with the creator of all things? How do I have true conversation with somebody I can’t see and hear with my physical senses? I know that it can’t be about me. There are things I can do…I can pray, study, listen, walk in the woods, serve people…but I think it is Christ and his spirit who make me sensitive to him. In truth I don’t always (or perhaps even often) feel close to Christ, feel that I am really listening to him, serving him, perceptive to his spirit, and sometimes I do. It is good to know that it is not about me! All I can do is serve Christ today, talk to him today, learn about him today, and allow his will to be done in my life.

Joining God’s Kingdom is to put yourself under God’s kingship. To live your life to glorify him to the world, to live the life he has for you and to do his work. If we can join God’s Kingdom, then we must be able to not be in God’s Kingdom…so it seems that that to join God’s Kingdom you have to first realize that you are out of God’s Kingdom! Sin and fallenness keep you out, and Christ can bring you in if you acknowledge your own sin, and accept his saving Grace.

Describe one significant (human) relationship you have (or had in the past) and how it has affected your life.
Beth is of course the most significant human relationship I will ever have. It is hard to think of an area of life that we do not share…we live together, work together, go to church together…we are friends, business partners (if you count running our family finances as business…which it sort of is), co-workers and co-leaders.

I think the biggest thing I’m learning from our marriage is about my own selfishness. I am learning to put aside what I want for what is good for us, how to change plans and be ok, how to let go of my desires. It is awesome to see how as we give up our own desires God makes changes our hearts so that our desires match. Being in the program is a good example of that…as we struggled though figuring out where we are headed in life God slowly brought us to the same place until it was clear what the next step in our life is.

Describe a very stressful experience you have had and how you dealt with it.
While traveling in Europe several years ago my wallet was stolen.The first thing I did was try not to let it ruin my day, I still did the stuff I had planned that day (on loaned money.) and enjoyed it very much. There was a lot of money in my wallet, and now I was stuck in Rome with no money and no way to get more. After that I did what I usually do when I am in stressful situations; figure out all the steps to solve the problem, then do the first one…ignoring all the rest. I needed some money s oI could eat, so I asked a friend for some. Step one done. Time for step two. I needed to cancel cards so I called the credit card company. There were a lot of steps that I had to do, and they were made harder by being in Italy (as an added bonus all of us were splitting up that day…so I headed out to a different city on my own). In the end it was not a big deal, everything worked out (my parents were not so glad for the $100 collect call…but I think they got over it).

Why do you want to participate in the Certificate Program? What do you hope to gain from the experience?
For me my desire to be in the Certificate Program really comes down to wanting to discover how my gifts fit into God’s Kingdom. I want to use my gifts to serve people, and I want to begin to figure out how to do that effectively. Built on top of that there are many other reasons. I want to be exposed to new thing: new people, new ideas, new cultures, new places, new ways of doing ministry. I want a chance to grow outside of the comfort of NLR. I want to be outside of what is comfortable to me. I also want to help form this program. I’m excited about being part of something new and being able to add my gifts and talents to the mix of CQMissional and helping in some small way to form it into something that can impact lots of people in the years to come.

What most excites you about living in the city and building relationships with people in new and different contexts such as an urban area? What about this most worries you?
I will miss the woods and the stars, and seeing foxes and bobcats in my yard. That worries me a little bit. The thing that worries me the most and will be most uncomfortable is focused on people and relatioinships though. Some people are really good at connecting with people, being open and people are comfortable being open with them. Some people are naturally good at good relationships. I’m not one of those people. So, it is going to be hard for me as I learn to connect with people.

All that said, one of the things that excites me most is knowing new people, learning their stories, cultures, desires, fears, needs, skills, talents….I want to push myself to build relationships with people even though it is hard. I’m excited about the city itself to. Cities have a unique energy and aesthetic that I am excited to explore. I hope that because of where we live we can walk and bike more than drive (even ride the bus? I might be setting myself up for disapointment on that one!)

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