This morning, a friend shared on his Twitter feed about starting a new venture. Since he technically has two jobs, he is described as "bi-vocational." But what exactly does it mean to be "bi-vocational?" Is there not a better term for us to use? Because as I have listened and watched my friends, who are often in "bi-vocational" ministries, I see so much more. These men and women are living out the call God has placed in their lives. They are using their gifts to share God's extravagant love with the world in new, creative, thoughtful, and innovative ways.
My friend JC is a gift. He may not have ever been called to be a parish pastor or chaplain, but he is one of the most faithful people that I know. In fact, I would say he is one of the best pastors I know. Now we didn't meet in the likeliest of ways. In fact, we met through Twitter and social media and then met in real life at the ELCA Churchwide assembly last month. I am thankful that our paths crossed because this man of God brings the Word to flesh through his video company Ankos Films. He is a true artist called to bring the Word in a new way...and I love that. He, along with many of my new friends, have made me think in new ways.
His is only one of the many stories I could share. And as I watch and listen to these gifts unfold around me, I am reminded that my writing is also a gift. It is truly who God has called me to be. These words God has gifted me with have helped me to tell my families story of mental illness. And as I look back on my life, I am sad that it took me 18 years to tell our story, but I saw the stigma associated with the illness which prevented me from telling our story. Words do indeed come to life when we are brave enough to tell our stories. "The bravest thing you'll ever do is tell your story"--Brene Brown
In all actuality, I believe "bi-vocational" (I really think there's a better way for us to describe this) ministry is a new way for us to be the church. Church is more than just a building. It is the people of God scattered throughout time and space. Church is bringing the Word to flesh in new, creative and innovative ways like my friend JC. Church is listening and engaging in the hard conversations. Church is the artistry of God using God's people and their gifts to bring the Word to life for all the world.