Hard Questions (Q#3): Radicalism, Family, and Following Jesus


What is a young family to do with a desire to follow Jesus more radically? This series of email exchanges I had with Paul Munn over a year ago (starting in April of 2009) attempts to explore some of that. To get caught up with the series, read question #1, response #1, and question #2/response #2 (which are one post).

Question #3

From: Jason
To: Paul
Sent: Wednesday, April 29, 2009 5:41:37 PM
Subject: RE: your JM post


Well, that makes a lot of sense. As difficult as it can be to discern what following Jesus might mean in each individual person or each context, I can certainly appreciate that “community” (especially by itself) won’t guarantee much for us as a family or anyone else for that matter.

Actually, I’m going to start a new job (as a school-based Marriage and Family Therapist) when my wife and I get back from South America. (We’re here in Peru visiting her family, introducing them to our son, etc. Julissa was born and raised in Lima. We’ve talked about moving here someday…who knows, right?). So, perhaps now is a pretty good time to start re-exploring the radical nature of following Jesus in the areas of work and gifting. Could you say a little more about them? For the benefit of a “just beginning” Jesus radical? :)

As for “prayer life,” I take that to mean making space for God through regular daily rhythms of silence, solitude, the divine hours, etc. What are your thoughts there? How can that kind of radical prayer life be related/integrated into a “rat race” type job like the one I’m going to start come Monday?

Also, why did work, gifting, and prayer life make your (explicit) list of additional areas to explore? Sorry to bother you with all these questions. I haven’t met many people like yourself. But if you want to stop answering them, I’ll really understand. :)

I’m glad you told me some about how you and Heather have negotiated your commitments at Plow Creek. I was going to ask about it, but I wrote what I wrote in the last email instead. I’m reading your journal from 2005 right now…it’s good. There’s some stuff in there about raising kids in radical Christian communities. That will be good for Julissa and I to explore as well.

Lastly, have you ever heard of Sojourners in SF, Ca? I’ve been in contact with someone there about going for a visit to get a feel for how they live community life and follow Jesus. Maybe that contact or visit will take us somewhere good in this journey. Also, Julissa and I were recently introduced to and then “invited” to do a time-limited stint (3-6 months) with a newly formed “neo-monastic” community near our hometown (Chico, Ca). It would be, in terms of expectations for what community life will do, probably the least ambiguous let-down since they are just getting started. Joshua, the leader-guy/friend-of-mine, has told me a few times that since they came together their Christian standards have actually mostly gone down hill. I don’t know what that says about whether or not to join them, but anyway…