Keep your eyes peeled for Unruly Christians.
Unruly Christians are uncomfortable in church culture. They’re often educated, but not always. They seek a spiritual path and may recently be discovering they identify with the Jesus they met once upon a time, yet they struggle to find their tribe in most churches. They're discovering taking on the mind of Christ is very different from what they've come to associate as a Christian.
An unruly Christian wants freedom to be different, not conform to someone else's definition. Unruly Christians want to live in the a-ha's and discoveries of their faith, as opposed to being told what it’s supposed to be. They want to roll their sleeves up and wrestle with conflicting ideas or interpretations until the light goes on. They’re ok struggling through the muck with each other and not having all the answers. They love tasting the sacred and holy, and welcome the opportunity to be transformed.
An Unruly Christian wants to point their consciousness to the high places and rest in reverence. Perhaps, more than anything, they want to be part of a community of love. They desperately want permission to live in an unfolding journey that reveals, in their own language, the God of their understanding. Theirs is a path of discovery on the Christian journey without shame or beliefs forced on them.
Some Unruly Christians cringe reading creeds or responsive readings because they feel like disingenuous lemmings. This is because their faith is a process and the words of their childhood trigger associations that shut some down before they’re ready. To others, creeds can feel oppressive and top down. An Unruly Christian understands some say their faith is not mature enough if certain liturgical practices or sacrament wording makes them uncomfortable.
They ask to be met where they are.
Some are still angry because they experienced rejection by church for their life choices or their theological confusion. They don't tow the party line. They’re working it all out now and want to belong. Unruly Christians often identify with a Christian spiritual path, yet don't feel they fit or resonate within a traditional Christian culture. Many have chosen untraditional spiritual paths in their life that were often scorned upon by traditional Christians, but found Jesus met them there anyway. They want others to know this is part of their journey, and not something without meaning or value to be discarded.
They want to learn, and sometimes they want to challenge your interpretations, beliefs, and language. They want an honest, open discourse and vibrant dialogue.
They welcome the supernatural, and the power of ritual when they understand it. Sometimes they are adverse to labels because they’re not comfortable being put in a box.
They believe in unity and resist the tendency for Christians to divide themselves, or those from other faiths as less worthy.
An Unruly Christian hopes you’re willing to listen and learn from them too. They want to connect with other travelers on the journey, and feel the freedom and acceptance to be their authentic selves. Some are reconnecting to what God means and need a big, wide open space to work it out in. They don’t want expectations placed on them based on your idea of what a ‘good’ Christian looks like.
An Unruly Christian strives to hold a loose grip on being right, theologically and culturally. They revel in the creative creation experience of being human. Unruly Christians are finding their way and their voice as Christians while having fun, doing good in the world, and want Jesus to fist bump their efforts rather than overturn their money-changer's table.
Peace and Love,