However, I have had more rich conversations about Christ and faith lately than I did while working in my church office. I have gained the respect of those I work with in the arts community and poverty-reduction circles, which can be an enormous feat for one who calls herself a Christian. My home has become a place of rest and healing for the broken in my community, and my sons believe that serving the poor is something everyone does.
The concept I have wrestled with the most is, how do I fit into the traditional church? People like me can freak the church out, because the people I want to hang out with are the ones some churches don't know what to do with! Outcasts, narcissists, gay people, thrill seekers, mockers. Urban missionaries like me engage in arts and culture, a world the church has lost touch with. I engage through dance instruction and producing shows based on social-justice issues. I like what my friend Greg Denie from Legacy One says: "We're called to be on the cutting edge of culture."
In this part of the world, 70 to 80 percent of society isn't flocking to the church. Now more than ever, it's time to create a movement of missionaries who will flock to them. People are spiritually hungry but want nothing to do with church. The conversations I have had with non-believers have shown me that they are very much open to the message of Jesus but are weary of the church. I have been surprised at how easy it has been to build relationships and share my faith based on a respect and love for them as individuals. Those of us who are doing this are finding that the harvest truly is plentiful.
Connie Jakab is the author of the book Culture Rebel. Connie is passionate about rebelling against status-quo living and encouraging others to branch out. Connie drives her passion outward into the arms of those wanting something more radical and meaningful in life. She can be found on twitter @ConnieJakab. Connie is honored to be part of the Redbud Writers Guild.