I met some amazing men while I was there. These men are Palestinians doing ministry in some very difficult circumstances. I was touched by their passion, vision and energy. None of them can do the ministry they do without an international network of prayer and financial support. It is awesome to see what God can do when the Body of Christ works together for a common goal.
I was very touched and challenged by being in their presence. I was touched seeing what God can do with seemingly nothing and challenged by their clarity of vision. It makes me rethink my vision. Do I have the kind of clarity they have? Am I part of something bigger than myself? Am I doing what God called and I am being who God created me to be?
One thing that I came away knowing for sure is that we don't cooperate very well as Lutheran congregations. We all work in our own little kingdom and rarely do we really work together as the larger Body of Christ. One of the only examples I know of is the shared bell choir MLC has with FOG. There is so much more to be done together.
I think one of the barriers is competition and ego among the clergy. So often we disagree and want to feel like we are better or more right theologically. We have not been captured by a common vision fueled by the Spirit and about bringing the kingdom. We get caught up in "doing church" and forget about "being the church" and sharing the Gospel in a very real and power. I think that the devil likes to divide us so that we are less effective. What we need is someone or something to work like a catalyst for change and to help us rally around kingdom work.