Monday, 29 April 2013
So many ideas - So few to take them up
Last night past conversations crowded in. One upon another they crashed together causing sparks and yet, despite the highly flammable material of life, there was not even a hint of smouldering!
I woke with a start as the memories of so many opportunities for engagement were identified, acknowledged and . . . Passed by!
People issued the cry, 'Why doesn't someone do something about [insert any need you might have identified]?' That done, they look at me to provide an endorsement of their perspicacity and well-honed Christian missional skills and agree that, 'There must be someone!' And of course there is. But who?
So far this year I've worked with people in various settings and circumstances and, between us, we have tried:
+ sign up' sheets - but no one signed them!
+ vision meetings - but myopia appeared to rule!
+ training courses - but Downturn Abbey provided a greater attraction!
Many years ago I read a book by Richard Bach (illusions) which contained the words, 'Argue for your limitations and, surely, they are yours!'
I have found this year to contain more people who have told me why they can't do anything (it wasn't even 'more'); more people who have bemoaned the lack of engagement from 'the church' and complained about those who, 'Need to do more!'
I have engaged with people who are full of promise and ability who have promised much and delivered so much less than nothing as their inactivity (always accompanied by a reason and often an accusation) also debilitated others and rendered them, and us, impotent and defeated too!
There are eight months left to us in this current year:
+ eight months to make the case for all-member engagement (collaborative church)
+ eight months to motivate and mobilise members (courses, sermons, vision meetings) with no quarter given
+ eight months to get the message across that being Christian is not a hobby
Those who come to church, those on PCC or DCC, Volunteers, Pew Warmers, Lay Ministers, Clergy (for no one is exempt) - the gauntlet has to be laid down (and taken up).
It's so hard to smile and nod when people tell you that they can see the needs but don't care (they don't use those words, they merely absent themselves or tell you about their hobby, family, whatever; that takes them away to other things).
It's galling when people tell you that they've been challenged by something they heard so went somewhere else to avoid the feeling again!
So here is a plea to all who read this:
Get involved, get praying, get engaging or get the estate agent in and get ready to close our doors. We can no longer exist as museums showing where 'God used to live'; architecturally magnificent holy shrines to a former age; holy huddles who exist to meet for themselves, not their communities and certainly not God.
So here’s another line drawn - another challenge issued.
Please hear it, pass it on and respond to the call.