Communication — Messages from the Trail

Bulletins, Facebook pages, newsletters, worship leaflets, bulletin boards, websites — all are platforms for communicating the message of radical sending and creating a base camp culture. On this page are links to first-person stories, like those in Radical Sending, told by people who understand themselves as “radically sent” and, below those links, a collection of quotes that can be used in all kinds of communications.

Stories

Quotes

This section features quotes that we have found compelling, thought-provoking, and memorable. Any of the following can be used to help keep your message of “radical sending” in the hearts and minds of your congregation.

The quotes span time and place in Christian history. They have multiple uses: as “one-liners” for bulletins and/or newsletters, enlarged as posters, quick discussion starters for education events (“How does this statement relate to you in your daily life as a Christian?”), or relevant quotations for talks and presentations.

As you find additional inspiring stories, quotes, or creative ways of sharing the message, share them via the form below.

Note: We have made our best effort to attribute quotes correctly. If additions or corrections are required, please use the comment form.

We have got our weekdays separated from our Sundays and our work separated from our worship, with the inevitable result that our work has become bitter and our worship has become empty. —George Macleod of Iona


To pray is to work and to work is to pray. –Benedictine Rule


All my best friends are ministers . . . and some of them are ordained! –Anonymous


The action of the Eucharist is never completed in the church (building). It always finds its completion as we take it outside, into the world. —Miles Yates, former chaplain, General Theological Seminary, New York City


… that with truly thankful hearts we may show forth your praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives by giving up ourselves to your service. —The Book of Common Prayer, 101


Send us now into the world in peace, and grant us strength and courage to love and serve you with gladness and singleness of heart. —The Book of Common Prayer, 365


And now, Father, send us out to do the work you have given us to do, to love and serve you as faithful witnesses of Christ our Lord. —The Book of Common Prayer, 366


Go in peace to love and serve the Lord. —The Book of Common Prayer, 366


Let us go forth into the world, rejoicing in the power of the Spirit. —The Book of Common Prayer, 366


If the laity of the Church, dispersed in and through the world, are really what they are called to be, the real uninterrupted dialogue between the Church and the world happens through them. They form the daily repeated projection of the Church and the world. —Hendrik Kraemer, A Theology of the Laity (Vancouver, BC: Regent College Publishing, 2005), 170.


If I believe that there is a loving God, who has created me and wants me to be part of a people who will carry the good news of the love of that God to the world, what difference does that make when I go to my office at nine o’clock Monday morning? What difference does it make in my office that I believe there is a loving God, that God loves me, and that God loves all human beings exactly as that God loves me? What different kinds of decisions do I make? What am I called to do in that office? —Verna Dozier, The Authority of the Laity (Washington, DC: Alban Institute, 1982), 16.


Laypeople have power. They have power in the secular world. And laypeople often lose their power in the world when they feel they need to be ordained in order to have significant ministry. —Verna Dozier, The Authority of the Laity (Washington, DC: Alban Institute, 1982), 42.


Hands to work. Hearts to God. –Amish


Preach the Gospel. Use words if you must. —Francis of Assisi


The layperson’s ministry is not a matter of increased busyness in parishes. Indeed, this proliferation of organizations and activities may be a roadblock at times to the realization of lay ministry. Our ministry is our lives, our total lives. —Edmund Fuller, novelist and critic


Anybody can observe the Sabbath, but making it holy surely takes the rest of the week. —Alice Walker, In Search of Our Mother’s Gardens: Womanist Prose


First give yourself to God; then to the work God gives to you. –Anonymous


Work is not, primarily, a thing one does to live, but the thing one lives to do. It is, or should be, the full expression of the worker’s faculties, the thing in which he finds spiritual, mental, and bodily satisfaction, and the medium in which he offers himself to God. —Dorothy Sayers, Why Work?


Genesis says that humans were created in the image of God, so all of our work—not just church work—is holy. We are called to be co-creators, with God, of a flourishing life on Earth. It is really a profound act of engaging the kingdom of God. —Dave Evans, co-founder of the videogame giant Electronic Arts and a design professor at Stanford.


Perhaps we should revive Luther’s vision of the priesthood of all believers, who are ordained by God at baptism to share Christ’s ministry in the world—a body of people united by that one common vocation, which they pursue across the gamut of their offices in the world. It is a vision that requires a rich and disciplined imagination, because it is largely a matter of learning to see in a different way. To believe in one’s own priesthood is to see the extraordinary dimensions of an ordinary life, to see the hand of God at work in the world and to see one’s own hands as necessary to that work. Whether those hands are diapering an infant, assembling an automobile or balancing a corporate account, they are God’s hands, claimed by God at baptism for the accomplishment of God’s will on earth. There are plenty who will decline the honor, finding it either too fearsome or too intrusive to be taken seriously, but those willing to accept the challenge will want to know more about what a priest does, exactly. —Barbara Brown Taylor, The Preaching Life (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 1993), 32.


We try to teach the churches that we work with that all you do is ministry 24/7. We do this by taking time to holistically discover who each person is in Christ, not just their gifts but also their passions, their heart, their stories. We teach that who you are in the workplace, who you are on the soccer field, who you are at the Red Cross volunteering, or who you are in the classroom is a measure of who you are in Christ. We are called to let our light so shine not just in the context of the four walls of the church but out in the community as well. —Sue Mallory, Laynet, Summer 2003.


The human vocation is to do the will of God and so to live life “abundantly” (John 10:10). But the will of God does not extend down to the details of career choice. And once this is realized, I believe, then it becomes possible for us to live more adventurously, more freely, breathing in an atmosphere of love rather than law, looking for our own way to share the good news of the gospel in daily life, whether in career choices or in business or in the ordinary transactions of the daily round. Here, new possibilities open for the creating of Christian lifestyle and modes of spirituality that reflect the generosity of God in Christ. For this, at heart, is the Christian’s vocation. —Gary D. Badcock, The Way of Life: A Theology of Christian Vocation (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdman’s Publishing, 1998).


A friend told me the story of encountering a woman who works at a Walgreens pharmacy. The woman told a heart-warming story of her work and of her concern for what she saw as “her congregation,” that is, the customers she got to know and care for over time. In particular, she talked about an uninsured mother who needed a $400 prescription for a child. “I worry and wonder,” the woman behind the counter said. “What will this mother have to give up so that her child will have the medication he needs?”

My friend, a pastor who works on staff in a mid-level judicatory, commended the woman for her care and compassion, and then asked, “Does your church know that they have a minister working at Walgreens?” “My church?” the woman asked with some surprise. “Why, no. I hadn’t thought about that. No,” she admitted. Then she added, “They wouldn’t think that this is important.”

That story broke my heart. It broke my heart that this woman has the perception that her church has the perception that what she does outside the church doesn’t count. I’m pretty sure that if we went to that particular congregation (or any of ours, for that matter) and asked leaders or members if this woman’s work is important, we would get resounding affirmation. But if we asked what that congregation (or ours) had done to affirm or support her day-to-day ministry, we would probably get puzzled looks. —Dwight L. DuBois, “Your Minister at Walgreens,” Congregations Magazine, April 3, 2012.

Please use this comment form to send us additional quotes you’d like to share. Be sure to include appropriate attribution.

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