Graham Horsley article

8 October 2015

Very grateful to the Down District for sharing this article from Fresh Expressions,, While the alarmist language may already turn some off it does say much that I would agree with and it presents the real challenge that many of clergy and lay people must face. A few comments

1) the only significant change that some MEthodist churches will tolerate is the change of stationing a minister (and we will not go into the plus and negative thoughts on that subject) but as the article highlights this creates unrealistic and unjustified expectations. As the new cleric finds their feet they may bring about a few changes according to their style of ministry, but all it is really doing his moving the furniture around the room. But it is not real change. If things are failing- and please let's not bluff ourselves that in some places organisations set up centuries ago,still work- why can't we honestly look at them and ask hard questions of their reason for existing.

2) "we then must go where the people are: understand their spiritual longings and accompany them on their journeys rather than inviting them to ours" I go some at with this, I don't believe all our journeys are not without merit but the gap between the spirituality of the church and the search form God in culture is vastly different. We need to be lest teacher and more companion. I was out with the dog recently and a man was hanging over the railings beside the sea, and he looked distraught. I ask was he ok, and long story short, a family member was ill with cancer and he was angry with GOd. A while later we parted, with a card in his hand with my number ( which he has used several
times) and prayer offered and accepted.

3) and Graham is right that our DNA will help us if we do engage mission with a culture that has a variety of moral compasses. "Can we approach ever circuit exe and council with an expectation and motivation that we are driven by transforming church culture rather than maintaining it"

A few rambling thoughts on what was a challenging article, that I would recommend each church council member should read and reflect on. Ministers, Why not share it and put a time of feedback on the next council meeting.



Here's an interesting article from Graham Horsley, who's a leader of the Fresh Expressions movement in GB, and also a Methodist minister. His thoughts seem appropriate to our context also...


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