What would happen if …
the millions and millions of dollars that are given each year to churches was suddenly released back into the hands of believers with the commission to directly make someone’s life better?
Think of it. Hundreds of millions of dollars that would no longer be used to maintain the property of stagnant churches but instead placed again in the hands of the regular people who believed enough to give it in the first place?
Their instructions? Make the world a better, happier place. Fly salmon in from Alaska and throw a party for someone that has yet to hear of Christ. Pay someone’s water bill. Give someone a used car. Take someone out to dinner. Why? For no other reason than that you love them.
These questions are a sort of summary of the story told below. Feel free to scroll all the way down and comment on these questions without reading what follows. I warn you. Scroll quickly past the following story and don’t read it unless you have to.
What do you think?
In Search of the Mystic (1.2)
The lounging bodies of men with hairy backs in Speedos and naked, sun-bathing women on the shores of the Mediterranean now behind me, my thinking turned sharply towards my search for The Mystic. I boarded the train for the short trip to central Barcelona and tried to organize in my mind that which I had come to know of this enigmatic movement thus far.
I know what you’re thinking. How? How and when did I come to know what I know of The Mystic and who told me? All I can say is that they always seemed to know where I would be. My encounters with these mystic warriors would always be brief and somewhat shrouded. Always. I’ve come to suspect that this was for my protection and not theirs.
Like the young woman with perfect hands that sat across from me on the train. She was reading when I found my seat and left suddenly at the next stop. But not before telling me out of the blue to keep searching because the fate of the universe depended on it. “Out of the blue” has a new meaning to me now.
train tracks leading to Barcelona
The future, I am told, will be different than we imagine. More wonderful than we could imagine, they say, and far more terrifying. According to the Gallup organization, Future Orientation is one of my Strengths and I love to think about what awaits us. But when these mystics speak of the future it is as if they have already lived it.
In the early part of the 21st century, they say, the predominant forms of the Christ following movement, the Mega church and the house church, would begin to give way to new expressions, new alignments.
New forms would emerge, one of them called The Mystic. This clan was characterized by a series of paradoxes
- Larger than a mega church and smaller then a house church
- Everywhere and nowhere
- Radically decentralized and radically unified
- Local and global
- Electronic and biological
- All the clergy became laity and all the laity became priests, poets and eventually, mystic warriors.
One Story of the Genesis of The Mystic
The genesis of The Mystic was unremarkable, I am told. So much so that no one saw it coming. Nevertheless, several streams of origin were discernible, the most important of which is the evolution of the human species from Homo Sapiens to Homo Electronicus. But another of the earliest streams, and the one with which we’ll begin, is when the flow of Kingdom capital reversed itself.
The de-evolution of a species
One of the more circulated genesis stories is of a young man living at the end of the 20th century who started a Bible study. His unreached friends came and converted to faith in Christ. The deacons of his church encouraged him to bring his friends to church so they could grow.
The young man knew if he took them to church they would be lost to the Christ following movement. He spoke with the leaders of the church and explained the situation but they were unwilling to see his point of view. He had grown up in that church, gave money there every payday, and loved it in every way, but he couldn’t take his friends there. He wasn’t sure what to do. Finally, as his church did not understand his dilemma, he decided that he needed to part ways with his church.
As an act of commitment to the gains he had made among his unchurched friends, he sent his offering to a mentor from college whose blog he read every day. Inside the envelope he put a note indicating his predicament and stated that he wanted to reach his friends and didn’t want to do it alone.
Shortly thereafter, he received an email from his mentor.
I’m not a church, his mentor wrote. I have no building to build. No staff to pay.
Therefore, I accept your giving as your commitment to live a life focused on those who do not yet know. You are the church. You’ll receive in the mail a check for the same amount as your tithe minus 1%. You are commissioned to use all of it in any way that directly serves those you are seeking to reach.
[As a side note, I met a young man with a similar story in Central Florida early this year. Had I known then of The Mystic I would have invited him to join me in my search.]
Within a couple of years, many others followed. They reached critical mass silently through the invisible world of the blogosphere. As they grew they each began to give to the mentor, in the pattern of the first young man, 1% of their income as a commitment that all of their resources would be used to serve and reach the unreached. As part of their commitment, they set aside the remaining 9% to throw parties, or feed the poor, or pay someone’s water bill, or do any thing they wanted that would directly touch the lives of others.
Mystic Warriors, as they would come to be known, would become known as the most generous people on earth among those they touched.
Balconies in Barcelona
Without intending it or even knowing it, they created a radical and revolutionary realignment of the economics of the Kingdom. Thousands and tens of thousands of Mystic Warriors and the hundreds of millions of dollars of Kingdom capital that would have otherwise become locked in the budgets of churches that didn’t work were all of a sudden unleashed to directly touch somebody’s life. The revolution had begun.
With the passing of time, this community began to take on a shape and form of it’s own unlike anything that had manifested on earth before. [For those of you who think this is just a fiction, think again. The signs of the revolution to come are all around us. Check out Dean Sharp’s September 8 Post. It will scare you.]
I know what you’re thinking. Where do they send the 1%? That’s what everyone asks me. As soon as I figure that out, I’ll let you know. For right now, my offer still stands: I’ll travel any distance to meet for even one minute with any one of these mystic warriors. My quest? To find the guide who has shown others the way into the mystic.
What do you think?
into the mystic…