Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Encouraging but realistic about ministry

An ordination on Saturday and a commissioning on Sunday were occasions when I had the opportunity to hear some fine preaching.  On Saturday it was Rob Ellis, Principal of Regent's Park College, Oxford, and on Sunday Juliet Kilpin, from Urban Expression.  Both were refreshingly realistic about ministry, and offered some nuggets which I've continued to reflect upon.  

On Saturday, reflecting upon the contemporary situation in the light of the experience of the church at Philippi, Rob commented, 'With church attendance generally in decline we manage to find ingenious ways of putting off those who come!'  Juliet spoke about taking risk and had some hilarious slides showing how risk averse we are as a society.  She said most movingly, 'When we become followers of Christ we gave up the right to self-preservation'. Both Rob and Juliet, brought some encouragement and challenge at these significant milestones in the lives of ministers and churches.

4 comments:

Andy Goodliff said...

Geoff is quote from Rob correct - i don't get it?

Catrions said...

Andy, I wasn't there so I can't comment on the accuracy of the quote, but it makes sense to me! It seems to me to be saying that it's not just that churches aren't attracting new folk, they are driving away the ones they've got. That's a very sad indictment on the church but I suspect it is true.

Catriona said...

I see I now cannot spell my own name correctly - definitely losing the plot!

Geoff Colmer said...

Thanks Andy - I corrected the typo and Catrions (sorry, couldn't resist it!) has seen the revised version! I've just sent out a mailing to all ministers and secretaries of the CBA concerning an event and I managed to omit the time and create some confusion as to one of the dates. Not a good week!