Check out the litany of people who got majorly rejected while fulfilling the call of God; I mean rejected to a biblical degree.
Abraham was isolated and persecuted in a number of the places he went.
Moses was chased out of Egypt, then chased out of Egypt again, then berated by friends and family as he led people through the desert.
David was chased out of town by Saul, and in fact spent a number of years in hiding.
The prophets were, by and large, persecuted, alienated, and killed.
Jesus, after a short ministry, was crucified, mostly at the hands of religious people who scorned him.
The disciples and their circles faced waves of martyrdom.
Throughout history, some of the most devout and profound followers of Jesus have faced the same, often at the hands of other would-be followers of Jesus who loved the law more than they listened to the Spirit. Luther, Calvin, Edwards, and Wesley were all at one time chased out of town.
Imagine a community of faith in which the emphasis was not on making sure the insiders were safe on the inside, but rather that outsiders felt welcomed if they should risk showing up. Imagine a community of Jesus people who were more interested in loving the blatantly sinful than in drafting statements saying what the sin was. Imagine a community of faith that was, well, a bit embarrassing to religious people, because so many of the participants didn’t act the way religious people were supposed to act, because they are still broken and still working on it.
Instead of a community that complains about the pastor wearing blue jeans and a t-shirt, imagine a community where the tattoos are a little bit surprising. Think of a community where you’re as likely to be invited to a pub as to a prayer meeting (not more likely, just as likely – and hey, you can pray at the pub). What if there were a Christian community where you could say, “Here’s the stupid thing I did last week,” and have people respond, “I’ve done that too,” as opposed to being afraid that everyone was going to talk about you behind your back?
Some friends of mine and I want a community like that, a community where you can live real life and not be ashamed of it. Rejects welcome. Pharisees – probably not your thing.