I’m finally back at my computer after my trip to Kansas City. The graduation was awesome, and Amanda was beautiful. She did a great job on her speech, too. Having gone to a couple graduations of my own, I found this one refreshing.
When I graduated, there were hundreds of people graduating with me, and very few of the teachers and heads of the school knew who I was. The whole thing was very “important” and impersonal. We had a couple hours of practice, making sure we could all walk in line, something we had been doing since kindergarten, by the way! The big night came, and we were squeezed into an auditorium or gym with thousands of people, only a handful of which knew me, and could barely see me from their seats in the nosebleed section.
The FSM graduation, on the other hand, was in the Multi-Purpose Room on the Mission Base. There were a couple dozen graduates and several dozen people in the audience. The Apostolic Preaching Program graduates had caps and gowns, not because the school told them to, but because the graduates decided they wanted them. They also set their own dress code. It seems a little strange, I guess, that this impressed me, but it did. I guess after the big deal, do-everything-you-can-to-seem-impressive-type events I’ve been involved in before, this one just, well, felt good. It felt organic. It felt like what happened took place because it fit the people and the occasion, not because someone somewhere decided it “should” be that way. It felt real, honest, genuine. It’s hard to describe, but it was awesome.
I guess that is really what I enjoy about everything I’ve experienced at IHOP-KC; there is a genuineness about it. I’ve grown so weary of the attempts to make me fit in; to teach me how I should act, look, and think in order to be “appropriate” for a church and acceptable to God. I love the diversity I see at IHOP, where you don’t have to be like everyone else in order to fit in, because all you really need in order to fit in is to be passionate about God.
At first, the lack of organization was tricky for me; I like to know what’s going to happen when. Over time, though, I came to understand that what seemed like lack of organization was really an issue of being flexible as this organism called IHOP grows and changes according to the needs that arise. I also saw that sometimes it comes from what Mike Bickle refers to as “failing successfully”. This is what happens when you try something, find out it didn’t work out as planned, say “Oops!” and try something else. No condemnation, no guilt or shame, just try again. How refreshing is that!
Anyway, I’m home again, and I’m happy. My little girl is graduated and on her way to doing great things. And, for everyone that enjoyed Amanda Week, note that in four years, there will be an Adam Week, to commemorate his graduation from FSM. I’m already gathering stories… This is gonna be fun!