So I was listening to our arch deacon last night proposing a new type of leadership in our church which is very exciting.
Yet as I wake this morning something worries me about what he said. Essentially he talked about “sacking” the leader if in essence the church hadn’t grown. By growth we are talking more people in church.
This raises a question for me - what is salvation? Is it not more than bums on seats? Is it more than this, deeper, far wider and more liberating? Is it to do with employment, decent housing, sustaining the earth, defending the refugee, isn’t it equally about Justice? Would we sack a leader for not doing anything about injustice?
The problem with the numbers gain is that it focuses in on dragging people in, not sending the church out. For those of us interested in fresh expressions of church we are keen for the church to be sent out, and planting new models of church that meet differing needs. So the punters may never come in but grow in new forms of church, or indeed other churches.
We can only do two things. Love God and our neighbour. Then we will see society change and heaven coming to earth, but it may not mean they all start coming to church at the same time, the same way or in the same place.
Quick blog now to say that the team are all meeting at Emma’s Cafe for breakfast and our team meeting, which will be most enjoyable. However, the main order of the day is delivering Christmas cards to each business.
I don’t think we’ve ever done this before so althought it’s only a Christmas card and an invite to a carol service, it’s actually more than that. Maybe these cards and the presence of us giving these out will be symbolic of the ever increasing light of Christ in this place…
Light in the darkness! Anyway I’ll update you after!
It’s been a few weeks since I last blogged as the wondering chaplain but that’s not to say that there has been no activity. In fact quite the reverse and one of the reasons for not blogging is wondering where to start.
We continue to pray for two businesses of a week, which is great and the local church of which I am part seems to be getting behind the whole project of reaching out to the businesses in our estate (although I’ve heard a few cynical voices in this time too).
It seems though that just starting something fresh, something that reaches out, something that actually “does” has encouraged not only me, not just our local churches but also the wider church and for me, if nothing else, if this just galvanises the local church into action then it will be a job well done…
… but there is as it happens some really cool things happening with the businesses. Here is a snapshot…
This is a quick post, but I wanted to write a note about how grateful I am to God for the support we’re receiving in this venture as we look to reach out and serve the businesses in the parish.
1) A great lunch with Paul Simmonds of “Workcare” who got me into all of this in the first place. Wonderful to get a perspective and encouragement from somebody external. And superb to hear how other parishes are interested in this whole area…
This weeks business of the week to pray for (and shop from!) is Lifestyle Express on Ringwood Highway, Potters Green. It’s a fairly new business and I’m not sure what they need prayer for, or how we may serve them but needless to say I’ll pop in and say hi and see if I can find something out…
Or maybe you can?
We’re having some great responses from some of the businesses we’ve been in touch with. Great to make contact with the local companies, genuine suprise from them (in a good way) that a church would take an interest in the business community and a real willingness to share somethings they need some prayer for.
My hope is that in the future, we will move from asking for things to pray for, to becoming an answer to prayer and seeing how we may serve them.
Oh and looking forward to meeting Colin, a fellow Christian who works for one of the companies on the estate…
I had this crazy idea along with a friend of mine called Paul to be a chaplain to the businesses in the local area, particularly on the industrial estates. I mean hospitals and prisons and places like that have chaplains don’t they. They have people who they can talk to when they’re in the mire and it helps to talk doesn’t it?
But businesses generally don’t.
For sure they have HR and occupational health and they may have some sort of policy about equality and diversity or something like that..
.. but what if you can’t talk to these people because it’s too personal, or too “political” or what if your the MD and you just can’t talk about these things because it is way too sensitive..