Being an active participant in the Anglican tradition has caused me to consider the reason I left my previous tradition of denominational Pentecostalism. The tension in my life between faith and action, my words and my deeds is the short answer.
I’ve studied theology with a focus on missiological issues. In my Pentecostal tradition, I was a Missions Major. Missions was something you do overseas. I wanted to do this so bad. I wanted my faith to be active in doing the work of God. Little did I expect to find a shift in thinking and the dropping of an S from my missions mindset.
I lived in Nairobi, Kenya as part of my theology training. This forced me to look at my faith and how it was easy to live an outwardly Christian life when you are the different in society. What happens when you are the same in society. Being a Christian in a Christian Bible College is easy. Being a Christian doing missions is easy. But being a Christian when no one is paying attention to you is hard.
Learning to be a Christian in action, not just because it was my cultural heritage, was, still is, important to my journey from a Pentecostal ecclesiological tradition to the more formal Anglican tradition. I found that for myself my faith needs to be challenged into action. Being spiritually active is important, but care for the physical is equally important.
Walking the tightwire between spiritual activity on a Sunday and the everyday activity of life is tough, and requires a daily struggle. Scripture describes pure religion as this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world. I really don’t know what it means to keep myself unstained by the world.
However, I do know that volunteering at the local community kitchen is helpful to the people who utilize this. I know that volunteering/working in non-profit settings is helpful to those served by the non-profit. Everyone has their own issue that drives them. Some people get involved in fundraising for a charity. Some people volunteer for the Red Cross. Some people make a difference by being a coach for a local school.
It is in the everyday activity that I seek to live the Christian life. Attending religious services on Sunday are secondary for me, but still a priority.
What’s your history? What’s your mission?