I read this article last week and found it to be extremely helpful. I myself became convicted about the Christian bubble that I lived in while I was in high school. I grew up in a Christian home, most of my activities were through church clubs and youth group, I played in a Christian band with my family, I attended Christian school and was then home schooled, and on and on I could go.
While I was in high school I became convicted about the fact that I had no friends outside of the church, and so I started attending Bucks County Community College. My favorite place to hangout was on the front steps with the smokers (yes, my parents feared that I would end up with lung cancer...), but what I found to be amazing is that I had deeper spiritual discussions with these people than I had ever had with my Christian friends.
There was the ex-Jehovah's Witness who had toyed with paganism and Druid practices but didn't really believe in anything. He was mostly hoping to graduate from college and achieve a "normal" 9-5 life (he was in his 30's and had worked nights most of his life).
And then there was the atheist who wanted to discuss physics and the probability of a God existing. He also liked to tell stories of peeing out of his 3rd story window in Quakertown at 2 in the morning because he was so drunk. He challenged me both intellectually and spiritually.
And there was the brain injured NA addict (yes, he was addicted to Narcotics Anonymous) who should have been attending SAA (Sex Addicts Anonymous) judging from his conversation and constant flirting with girls who were obviously not interested.
I could go on and on, but I actually have a point I'm trying to make...
When it came time to make that big decision as to which college to attend I had most of my friends and family pushing me towards a Christian college. They had a fear of the interaction of a Christian teen with the secular culture, but I looked at it and thought, "I'm planning on being a missionary. How will I be able to handle going to a culture where I am immersed in secular life and have no Christian contacts if I can't even attend a secular university?!" And so I attended West Chester University and made more friends outside of that Christian bubble.
But now fast-forward to the present, to me right here today. I find that I have slowly and all too easily slipped back into old habits and old ways of thinking. I made attempts in this past year, while working at Christ Community Bible Church, to live outside the bubble. I had the diner that I ate at twice a week for 3-4 months in order to build relationships, but just around the time that I started building those relationships I lost my focus on why I was doing it, got consumed with the amount of money I was shelling out for it, and stopped going. And then there was the bar that I started going to on a weekly basis, but then I started to wonder/worry what people at church would think if they found out I was regularly eating/drinking at a bar, and my mind also once again turned to the amount of money I was shelling out (bars are a bit more expensive than diners...) and so I stopped.
So now, as I start a new job, begin at a new church, start a new marriage, I am once again confronted with the question of, How will I live outside the bubble? Although the question becomes even more complex because it is now, How will we (Dana and I) live outside the bubble? How will I lead a youth group that intentionally lives outside the bubble? How will I lead the congregation in worship that intentionally pushes them outside the bubble?
And so I start this all off with a blog post, remembering the past, assessing the present, pushing towards the future, and asking you the question, How will you live outside the bubble?