Over the past few weeks I have had some conversations that have inspired me. As I contemplate my ministry moves this year (I finish this current role this year) I have been wrecking my brain over what I have learnt, where I see the Church and in particular what needs to be expressed more or re-expressed.
Yesterday I met with Tim Hodges from TSCF yesterday – he was up in Nelson to encourage the Christian group at the local polytechnic – so had a chat over coffee. I had lost touch with pretty much anything studentish since coming to Nelson. Reaching students had unfortunately been way down the ministry priority list, so hearing about the changes in TSCF was great. A major thing for me has always been integration of faith and life (outside the church) – so to spend an hour taking about the undivided life (one of the core principles of TSCF) was great.
Also met with one of our new Vicars earlier in the week, again ministry philosophy was on the discussion – for him community facing and existing for those who don't belong were high on his priorities.
I have been chatting with a colleague about Church planting, something I have mixed feeling about after 2 years at Graceway, and seeing how tough it can be to establish a presence, but also recognising the need for what Archbishop Rowan calls "the mixed economy" in our approaches to ministry.
Finally I was part of diocesan planning group that was trying to establish direction in light of missiological and ministry needs. While I am not sure whether we got to the place we need to – we certainly were thinking along the same lines – mission as a priority – being missional as a way of being church. For such a diverse group to be thinking in these terms I think is a major indication that God's Spirit is moving and He isn't finished with us yet
It strikes me that although in general the church is struggling. Things are looking up, we recognise the mission opportunities and the need for costly discipleship – maybe the Church is not a bad place to be after all?