There was a day, long, long ago, when I thought I might be a professional singer / songwriter. I filled the pages of many a notebook in high school and college with original lyrics and guitar chords. I found some of them in a recent purge. They’re mostly not great. It made me glad I found software development as a day job to support my life calling as a pastor and teacher. I may have starved as a songwriter.
But one stanza wasn’t the worst I’ve ever seen in a pop tune (compared to, say, “Baby, baby, baby, oh baby, baby baby, thought you’d always be mine”). And it still means something to me over 20 years later:
Trusting You is like jumping off of bridges
It’s a long way down past the point of no return
If it takes a leap to find out where Your heart is,
Then I’ll have to jump, and let the bridges burn.
Following Jesus, for me, has involved many leaps of faith – that moment where the choice you have to make lies beyond your ability to see or understand. This has always been the call of Christ – “Follow me.” Seldom do we know exactly where He is taking us. We often have to be content to know that He is good, and He knows where He’s going.
A year ago we jumped off another bridge together – the result we call “The Table.” It wasn’t clear where we were headed, but we knew the door was open for us to invent a new kind of community of faith in the Seattle area. Over the past twelve months, we’ve learned a lot; we’ve learned “church” doesn’t have to be complicated, but it should always be meaningful. We’ve learned the value of opening up spiritual conversations and letting them be as real, raw, and redemptive as they need to be. We’ve learned that being “salt and light” and living “in but not of lives” is never easy, but possible, and exactly what we’re called to.
We’ve also learned that there are so very many people we come in contact with every day that would never darken the door of a “church” building, but might be part of a conversation, or even a community. And that’s where our next bridge-jump begins.
Beginning tonight, we will lay out plans for The Table’s next leap – we will be moving from our church-building incubator, committing ourselves to love a neighborhood in Seattle, and inviting that part of the city to a community table and conversation about Jesus. It’s a bold new vision – creating a space where the rich and the poor, the strong and the weak, the faithful and the faithless, have an equal place at a table of love, grace, acceptance, and forgiveness. And (of course) food.
And it all will be happening a lot faster than you might think. It’s a bit of a nutty timeline, but we think we can take this next leap in 30-60 days. If something about it sounds about right to you, it may be your next leap. Get in touch – we’d love to have you explore joining us! If not, maybe there’s another bridge for you. What I know for sure is that Jesus has never let me stay in safe places too long. He’s out there where you can’t see the next step, and He’s still saying “follow me.”