Last week while I was at the Superintendents development training, Rev Stepehen Lindridge from the Fresh Expression movement (a joint initiative between the Methodist and Anglican Churches) showed a video, from YouTube on the internet.
The video is actually an advertisement for an American company but it shows an airplane being built while it is in the air and flying. If you want to look it up it can be found under the heading, EDS “Airplane” and it shows the fuselage being built around the passengers who are enjoying their mid flight meal; it shows seats being ferried and fixed into the plane amidst the chaos of the clouds going past. Of course it is a piece of camera wizardry and special effects, but it is built around the strap line of “We’re not just building a plane, we’re building a dream.”
I think that church and in particular the re-organisation of Methodist Circuits feels a bit like that; building the dream as we are in mid-flight.
It makes us uncomfortable because we want to know what the future holds, and what is going to happen. We’re people who like detail, who like to know all the `ins and outs` before we commit ourselves. And yet, we are also people of faith.
When the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples at Pentecost, Peter didn’t work out a marketing strategy or a preaching plan before he left the upper room to preach the first sermon; no, he just went as the Spirit led him. We need to be the same, a body of people who trust enough in the Lord to simply “go, and tell others”.
I’m not decrying the need to think it through or to make plans (the Bible actually tells us to plan things out), but at times we also need to set out in faith and trust believing in a God who will bring us through difficulties and hardships to the place where he wants us to be. We believe in a God who, in Jesus, not only said “Go” but also added “and I will be with you to the end of the age”.
It is in that sense that Alison and I embarked on itinerant Ministry and it is in that sense that we all build the Church (even as it travels from day to day).
Good journeying !!