Through the journey of my life, I have found myself drawn to epic tales and fantastical worlds. From a very young age, I was a reader of amazing stories and imaginary characters, and that has not changed as I have come deeper into adulthood. No fantastical world has captured my imagination more than Middle Earth and the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien. It isn’t because of the elves, the battles, the wizards, or the deep attention to detail, though all of these are amazing. It is the friendship, the camaraderie, the devotion to mission, and the wonders of the journey that draw me in time and time again.
Much of this is birthed out Tolkien’s own life and friendship with Clive Staples (C.S.) Lewis and the community they built of writers and lovers of imaginative literature. They would gather together in a local pub or Lewis’ room at Oxford and each shared their writings and thoughts together. It is believed the writings of Middle Earth and Narnia went through the scrutiny of this group of friends as a process of refinement. Though they didn’t always agree, they did respect one another as writers and their writings were better for it. This group of friends who spanned the 30’s and 40’s was known as the “Inklings” and they contributed some of the greatest literary work of the 20th century.
As much as I would like to write a tale of fantasy and wonder, I know that is not the path Yahweh has called me to. Instead, he has called me to serve ministry leaders and prepare them for the future. It is this reason I have named our community, Modern Inklings. We are not literary geniuses as the original Inklings group was, nor are we focused on fantastical worlds in literature. Instead, we are focused on the breathtaking real world Yahweh has placed us in and the fantastical things that we experience serving his people. More importantly, we are posturing ourselves to look ahead into the world that is coming to ensure we remain effective ministry leaders leading effective ministries for the next 20, 30, even 50 years.
The future of our world is going to be wildly different than the world we live in today. Many of our ministries are seriously deficient in technology, social awareness, and community activism. Despite the great potential of the local church, many communities have closed their ears to the message of the Gospel as a rejection of God’s people they come into contact with every day. As ministry leaders, we need to turn our attention away from maintaining past ministry models and return to the never changing principles of scripture.
Let me invite you to be a part of the Modern Inklings community. As we look at trends that are changing our world, how we live, and how we interact with one another, we will explore how we can keep the ministry of the local church relevant, effective, and Christ-centered. We may not always agree, but together we can serve Yahweh and his people the way we have been called to.
Let’s shape the future for the Kingdom of God together.
Your Expedition Guide,