I found the video very affirming. It was titled “God Speed” and in it, N.T. Wright spoke about the 3 mile/hour speed of God. This is the pace that Jesus and his disciples might have walked.
As someone who has done a lot of walking I could appreciate this. In fact, my current ministry began with leisurely walks. I stopped and chatted with people on their stoops. I invited folks for coffee. I listened. I listened to people and I listened to God. Over time (too long for my impatient liking) I got to know people and their hopes and needs. I discovered avenues of ministry that would prove useful for the Kingdom. Slowly, ever so slowly, despite my reticence, folks got to know me. I was not seen as a ‘do-gooder’ who parachuted into the community, I was known as the flawed person I really am. The surprising thing was that the more people came to know me the better I was accepted! The more people knew me the opportunities to share Jesus grew exponentially!
It is funny (not funny ha ha, but ironic) that we instinctively believe a lie that if people really knew us they wouldn’t like us. The One who knows us best, loves us most! This isn’t just true of our relationship with God but also our dearest human relationships. Spouses know each other with all the flaws and ‘warts’ and love each other. Children, well know their parents flaws and mistakes, many of them were made raising them, and they love their moms and dads. Our fear is based on a lie! Only when we take the opportunity to really know and be known, can true love flourish.
Too often, though, we live in a ‘drive through’ culture. We race about in busy-ness and nominally know and are known. Our Kingdom impact is blunted through this broad way of superficiality. We think the more people we can communicate the Gospel with, the greater our impact but the reverse is probably closer to the truth.
I found it hard at first to raise enough support for my vision of a ‘micro’ ministry in the midst of a mega-church culture, but enough sweet souls have come alongside me on this 3 mph. journey that we are able to continue.
I was asked recently if the addition of Threshold House to the ministry might deflect from this 3mph. ministry and my answer is “I don’t think so.” In fact, we are looking to ‘walk’ alongside our residents in the same sort of way.
When I started this aspect of ministry I was at first also involved in College life, and then I was engaged with Corrections Canada. Now I will be involved with Threshold House alongside and as a part of my continuing 3 mile per hour ministry. Things change and they remain the same.
I am won over to the idea that if 3 miles per hour suited Jesus ministry then I will try and walk in his footsteps.