“What should young people do with their lives today? Many things, obviously. But the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured.” - Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
There is a new kind of pastoring afoot. It is dynamic, ferociously creative, beautiful. This pastoring is happening in all corners of the globe, in fact. It evokes our deepest desires. It compels us to venture out and hope for true shalom, wholeness, redemption and restoration. It makes up the fabric of communities that are curing this terrible disease of loneliness. It is truly a work of art.
This artistry I speak of is what you, sitting in your seat, reading this, are immersed in every single day.
You create beauty.
Every time you pick up a camera, a pen, a laptop, or a notebook, it is beauty-making at its most basic. And through your beauty-making, you are becoming the New Pastors of the 21st Century.
As we move from our post-modern, post-Christian, age of information, and into one of inventive imagination, the artist is poised to paint a picture of breathtaking beauty. As we wait in eager expectation inventing new things, will you paint for us a picture that imagines and shepherds us into another way?
A better way?
In this age also of destruction and dehumanization, we are waiting for you, the artist, to show us your canvas. We are waiting for you to reveal the beauty that might be underneath the rubble of our neighborhoods, our relationships, our souls.
Unfortunately, many of us have given up. We are resigned to thinking our role is mere utility. We’ve believed the lie that the beauty we make could never evoke someone to a higher place. And more will continue to do so unless you claim your call to reveal the beauty in the broken places and raise your prophetic voice.
We are waiting.
We’re waiting for you to call us into the deepest places of our soul.
We’re waiting for you to call us to more than we thought was possible.
We are waiting for you to make staggering amounts of beauty that imagine another way.
For some to whom I speak, your beauty-making is already shining a light giving us just a glimmer of what could be. It is crying out for us to believe that if He came once, He will come again. It is slowly knitting back together the broken bits of our story. Your beauty-making is connecting us - to one another and to God.
But for the rest, I ask you this:
Will you take up your call and step into the fullness of what it could be?
Will you help to cure our loneliness?
Will you dare to imagine another future and then tell us what you see?
“To name something is to be somehow transcendent to it, not fully imprisoned by it, free of it in some way, even if, like Stalin, it has you under its yoke. To name something properly can be prophetic, a defiant act, an act of freedom. Indeed that is what prophets do. They don’t foretell the future, they name the present properly - often times in a way that exposes its faithlessness and injustice.” - Ronald Rolheiser
You have been the prophets.
Now, you must be the priests as well.
You are the New Pastor and we are waiting.