Its been a funny few days and once again I find myself writing my blog a few days after events; my apologies once again.
Saturday saw the launch of the Mission Shaped Ministry and it was a very busy day. We had 17 people out of the 24 registered came and joined us; Loraine Mellor, the Methodist Chair of District, came along to wish us well and pray for us all. Rev Michael Mitton led two of the sessions, I led two sessions also, the welcome was given by our administrator David Fidler and a splendid lunch was provided by his wife Lesley. The participants were attentive, joined in the discussions and the venue of St. Andrews really lended itself to a positive feel.
By the end of the day we were feeling as though we had launched well and the feedback was very positive.
And then the meetings began……………………………… Monday, a good staff meeting, but then came a series of rather mundane, frustrating meetings where I came perilously close to losing the will to live. This was topped tonight by a Christians together meeting which was good in spirit but so much time was wasted in organising who`s turn it was to carry out whichever event we were discussing at the time ! The devil must have a field day at all of our grumblings and mumblings.
In the midst of all this I had a good day out on Friday, in London when Pilsley Bridge Street Church went to see “Mama Mia”; showing a tremendous amount of lycra, platform boots and corny jokes it was a brilliant production and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
This was followed on Saturday night by a wonderful welcome service for our new Colleague, Alan and his family. I really feel that Alan is going to bring something special to our Circuit. On Monday night I went to the Collation and Installation of a very dear friend of ours into her Church, as Vicar. Beej has been a good friend and a wonderful support to the Redshaws so it was special to attend and see her into her new Church.
All in all a mixed bag of events and occasions, which probably sums up the life of most Ministers. However my frustration throughout it all is “How and where do I find the time and energy to answer my call to evangelism ?” John Wesley raised up the Methodist people as a discipleship movement and it feels as though we`ve moved a long way from that; now we seem to be far more pre-occupied with maintainance instead of saving souls. As my recent post (Amy Carmichaels dream) showed I want to be engaged in bringing people to know the Lord Jesus Christ to whom I owe so much, but the Church often squeezes it out of me. For that I am truly sorry, Lord.
And yet I don`t really know the answer to it all. Church people want more and more of their Minister and yet because of declining finances they can`t afford it, and consequently they become more focused on fund-raising rather than Jesus.
We need to return to the threefold principle of Worship, Prayer, Bible Study and allow them to refocus our attention on Jesus, and then we need to be people who are witnesses for Jesus. There are souls out there waiting and wanting to be saved; don`t let them down.