They said to each other, “Didn’t our hearts burn within us as
He talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?”
Luke 24:32 NLT
“After the crucifixion and, at that point, rumored resurrection of Jesus, some of the disciples were contemplating the events around Jerusalem as they walked home. A man joined them on the journey, and after he left their presence, it became clear to them that it was the resurrected Christ. When they realized it was him, they asked, “Were not our hearts burning within as he opened the Scriptures to us?” We are all on a journey together, and when Jesus speaks to each of us within the body of Christ, our hearts are fanned into flame with a passion to serve and share the great things God has done. We have come to call this a “holy disturbance.””
Ken Nash, Multi-Site Ministry: Expanding the Expedition Reach
What are your passions? What is nagging at your soul that just won’t go away? What keeps you up at night thinking about all of the possibilities or is your first thought when you wake up in the morning? This restlessness or relentless desire or drive is what the followers of Jesus referenced in the scripture above and Nash described as a “holy disturbance.” It is where one’s gifts and passion come alive in what God is calling a person to do or become. So often we ignore these holy disturbances in our own lives thinking they aren’t possible or they are just crazy ideas. Other times those holy disturbances are squashed by the bureaucracy of the complex and time-consuming decision-making processes in our churches.
Just over a year ago I had one of those holy disturbances. I so wanted to shake it! I could justify a multitude of reasons why I should not be the one to take on this particular holy disturbance or why it wasn’t “my” holy disturbance to carry or be responsible for doing. Yet, God continued to work on me and showed me all the ways the path had been prepared for this work. Therefore, stepping out in bold faith, I began to work on the manuscript which became the book that launched earlier this spring titled, Cry From the Pew: A Call to Action for the United Methodist Church.
What is the holy disturbance stirring inside of you as of late? How are you and your church encouraging and helping others recognize and live out their holy disturbances? Sometimes one’s holy disturbance is lived out within the faith community. Other times, it might be launched out of the faith community, but lived out outside the faith community. Either way, we need to be advocates and encouragers for people to be aware of their holy disturbances, encourage them to act upon those holy disturbances, and equip them to live into them.
If a conversation partner would be helpful on your journey in exploring your holy disturbance or how to create a culture in your church for encouraging laity to explore and identify their holy disturbance, consider doing so through a coaching relationship. Find out more here.