The Collide team this year is made up of 21 women who have given selflessly all year to the mission of Collide. They spend countless hours making this ministry happen.They each have their own unique gifting, their own stories, their own faith experiences, their own doubt, their own dreams and their own fears. Together they comprise the hottest body (As we as members of the Church are called a body). Some use their voices to belt out songs of praise and thanks. Some use their artistic bend and their left side of the brain to school us right brained thinkers with color and non linear lines that shape into life and art and story. Others use their logic and their wisdom to punch numbers and organize and plan and that helps make sense out of everything.
No matter what a gathering ends up looking like, we always do this: We always learn and then we teach. We gather together in my living room and spend time ourselves, colliding with Jesus. We start there. This year we have looked at the collision with Jesus and Peter, where the Lord called him to follow him and indeed he left everything and did just that. We looked at the centurion who didn’t feel worthy enough to have Jesus come into his house and yet Jesus believed differently. We looked at Jesus’ farewell speech where He urged His disciples to remain in Him because He so desires to be close to us. And for our final gathering of the year, we as a team got together and chewed on Luke 15 where Jesus busts out in parables to respond to religious mutters.
As a team we start with our relationship with the Lord. We start within before we go out. We start by engaging scripture with our own questions and pain and when we are struck, when we dialogue, when we collide, then we teach. I have found that starting first with how Jesus strikes us is the only authentic way to go about this ministry work that God has laid before us. It is so easy to go on auto pilot and plan and plug and do and go and produce and all those words that make us turn into spiritual ministry robots with no heart, no compassion, no real personal place we are living out of. But we will fight that temptation and keep stopping and reading and meditating and chewing. It is then, that I believe, we have permission to ask the question “How do we teach this message to other women?” We can ask that question after we, together, collide and discover God’s message for us. It is then, that we can begin to ponder how to relay the message to others.
When we ask this question, we are thinking about you, women. We are thinking about the burdens that have been put on you. We are thinking about the lies you have been told. We are thinking about the empty purposes you have been invited into. We are thinking about the ways you have been used and mistreated. We are thinking about the temptations you have been lured into. We are thinking about the roles you have been made to believe you have to be superwomen in. We are thinking about the false faith you may have been handed by someone who wanted you to have right answers over right relationship. We are thinking about you because we have already thought about us. We have shared about our broken marriages and our miscarriages. We have talked about the pain we have experienced in the Church and how we have been blaming God. We have cried about cancer together and been real about insecurities that get in our way of belief in God and His power in and through us. We have talked about what we once thought about Jesus and how that is changing and we have wrestled with who He says He is and who we have made Him to be.
So when we ask how we can weave and shape a day just for women to teach you Christ’s message, we ask from a place of compassion and humility and pain and understanding. And we ask from a place of having just collided with Jesus and seeing His power, knowing He will collide with you, too. So that is our rhythm as a team and we are sticking to it. Learn, then teach. Perhaps this should be the rhythm of all people who dare to call themselves spiritual leaders for then our message will be delivered tenderly with humility, care and confidence in Whom we ran into and Whom we proclaim.
Join our rhythm in your own life as you learn and as you teach. – Willow