I do feel sort of "lone-ranger-ish" these days. Why? It's not because I'm alone. The masked man wasn't alone either. He always had Tonto by his side. But, like that "masked man" (see below for more about him), I've lost my connection with what some might call my "missional community."
During all the years I served as a pastor it was the "missional community" aspect of my life and work I liked best. There was always a sense of Holy Spirit led partnership as I worked and prayed alongside men and women who were dedicated, together, to bless youth and children, to help the poor, to befriend the elderly and intervene on behalf of those in dange--all in Jesus' name. God often pushed us toward excellence together--and we often came to God--together in prayer--because we knew we were not, as the Lone Ranger was said to be, "fabulous" individuals. God worked among us and that was always a sweet thing.
My most recent missional community was formed in and around the people of Crossroads Community Church. Now that I'm not serving there anymore as a pastor, now that God has called me to a new venture, I'm sort of "missional community-less." (This is true even though the Lord has given me opportunities to continue to serve in the DC area a time or two since June 8.)
Like the Lone Ranger I'm not clearly and obviously connected right now with a purposeful group that knows one Lord and Savior together.
My work environment does have a good purpose. Many of the people I'm getting to know are "fabulous individuals." Some have let me know of their personal faith in Jesus. But we're not a Christ-centered organization and we won't be praying together--at least not as a whole group. Metro Transit is famously diverse.
I am praying that the Lord will grant me, soon, an opportunity to once again join with other believers in common mission. Just what that will be I do not yet know. Beginning on Wednesday I'll be working a split shift and there will be an opportunity to look for a place to serve. Also, as Toni and I get ready to move to the Twin Cities, I'm praying that the Lord will show us, together, where He desires us to connect spiritually. Perhaps the church we become a part of will be a place where we can have a sense of missional community together.
Pray for me please -- and pray for us. And let us know in what way we can pray with you and for you. And if you're aware of an organization or a church that would be good for me or us to connect with, let us know. Thanks.
Who was the Lone Ranger?
He was character known as developed in a 1930s radio show and later, in the 1950s and 60s, on television. The Lone Ranger drama (really a melodrama!) was set in the mid or late 1800s, back in the days when the United States was expanding west into Texas and neighboring territories. The Lone Ranger was imagined to have been part of the Texas Rangers, "an organization ... developed to combat the evil forces of the time." But then that organization disappeared (they were lured into an ambush and slaughtered) and the one surviving ranger continued the work.
The Lone Ranger wasn't alone. Tonto was with him and he was constantly working with and leading others. But no one except Tonto really knew him. No one else knew his real name or his history. That wasn't because he wanted to be mysterious. He only hid his identity and wore a mask because he was afraid that he'd be killed if the gang that slaughtered the other Rangers found out who and where he was.
Here's the pilot for the show. Enjoy!