Why are you an Outlaw Preacher? What does Outlaw Preacher mean? Why the harsh language? Wait, y’all are preachers that drink? Smoke? Dance? Worship with ‘secular’ music?
These are questions I get asked A LOT about our community. I don’t have an answer to all those questions or even most of them.
The only question I can answer without any reservation is, “Why are you an Outlaw Preacher?”
My answer is not an easy one.
And then I remember…. The greatest answers in life are the “not easy” ones.
Why am I an Outlaw?
I’m an Outlaw because I find community there. I find love there. I find forgiveness in this rapscallion community.
What else do I find? I find hurt. I find bitterness. And I find HATE. I’m an Outlaw for those things as well.
That doesn’t make much sense, does it? No it doesn’t. But I’m an Outlaw as much for the things it isn’t as the things it is. #OutlawPreachers is not perfect. But no community is.
I just spent a wonderful week with some individuals who call themselves Outlaws and I found a lot of love and affirmation there but all it took for me to find hurt, bitterness and hate was opening up my twitter feed.
The horrid thing is, that bitterness and hurt was not coming from people outside of the community but people within. It’s a reminder that COMMUNITY is not perfect. But love is.
Love is perfect. I found love in the hugs of Katie Jo, Adam Melo, Michael Morris, John Martinez, Rebekah Berndt, Pat Green, Hunter Moore and countless others this week.
Humility is perfect. I found humility in the speakers’ hearts this week. I found humility in the broken hearts during workshops and late night convos brought on by Socigar smoking and bourbon sharing.
Please join us for #OP12 but do not come expecting a perfect community…. But then again, come expecting perfect community. It is our imperfections that help us recognize our times of perfect love.
Love, grace and peace to you all. May the Lord be with you.