I know you see them, the ones who aren’t happy to just sit in the pews on Sunday mornings and then go home. They want to start new ministries, not join old ones, and so often it’s easier to place labels on them or to say, “We don’t have a place for you here,” rather than support them in their callings. It’s certainly easier than facing the fact that although they make you uncomfortable, they don’t make God uncomfortable, and maybe the fact that you’re so uncomfortable with them and the callings He’s given them, means it’s your heart that needs to change, not them. Chances are, God hasn’t put you into their lives to try to crush the life out of them and keep them quiet. The fact that you’re uncomfortable doesn’t mean God doesn’t have a hold of their hearts, doesn’t mean He’s not calling them, doesn’t make them bad, and maybe, if your biggest fear is being uncomfortable, something needs to change, and it’s not them.
Church, like it or not, you do have a place for them, but it’s a place that’s left empty when you decide to either kick them down or kick them out. I promise they’re not trying to start anarchy; they just do things a little differently sometimes. Church, I know they’re not perfect and their mistakes often seem huge. Frankly, most people aren’t trying hard enough in the first place to mess things up too badly, and, well, these ones aren’t having that particular problem. If you watch them fail while having the ability to help though, that’s on you, and their failures are not the cue for you to walk out and give up on them. Church, what if we stand behind them instead of rooting for them to fail?
Church, your God is the same as theirs; the God of the still, quiet waters is also God of the raging ocean. It’s not one or the other, but all of us, together and maybe, in them, you can see a side of God that you’d never seen before. Maybe the fact that your walk with God looks like a quiet, stable sea while theirs looks like a raging ocean, going (seemingly on a whim) to wherever God calls, doesn’t make you a better Christian than them.
Church, I know you see them, the ones who ask to be sent out, but you’d prefer they’d be less outspoken first. Church, they’re not worth less because they don’t fit into human boxes, because they can’t stay in the pews. God has their hearts too, and it’s not your job to try to crush their enthusiasm into common sense; that so often comes later. Yes, they’re wild, and yes, they’re not what you’d expect (or want) them to look like, but whether or not you like it, they are there, they will make a difference, and you do have a place for them. After all, this is the Body of Christ we’re talking about, and if you’d prefer these ones not be a part of it, then that’s something to take up with Him, not try to deal with yourself by cutting these wild ones off.
Church, it’s not your job to try to break them into what you think they should look like, what you think their calling should be; chances are, you’ll end up breaking their hearts in the process. You have the choice to put them down or to stand behind them. Church, treasure your wild ones.
- Annaliese Myers