What happens next when a church finds themselves without a recognisable building. How do you respond? What do you do?
This is the kind of journey Kairos, formerly St Mary's Harrogate, has been on for the last few years. This blog is one place where some observing and reflecting can go on - do post comments and engage in some discussion if you wish.
Saturday, 21 February 2009
Digging or doubling?
Last Sunday I spoke on the parable of the talents. Three men, two of whom had a 'doubling' attitude (they doubled what the Master gave them) and one that had a 'digging' attitude (he dug a hole and buried that which the Master gave him).
The 'digger' had an attitude towards the Master that was wrong. He somehow felt that the Master was mean and lacking in mercy whereas the response of the master to the 'doublers' showed something very different.
We need to check out what our attitude to God is. Do we really see him as a generous father who will give good gifts to his children? If we see him like this we are much more likely to
1) live a life based on making positive investments - putting our money where our mouth is. One of the biggest laughs we had on Sunday morning was when Ian Jenkins was reading the Parable of the Talents and got to that bit where the Master tells the 'Digger' that he could have earned some interest on the money in the bank! Some investments will fail - if we are to speculate to accumulate there will be an element of risk taking. But we must still seek to make investments - not to dig a hole and bury what we have.
2) be unafraid to take risks. One of the things that most winds me up is over cautiousness. The church in our country is too often characterised by a paralysing caution and a fear of failure. I want to encourage an environment that sees taking risks, making investments and making ourselves available to God as key parts of our common life.
Our direction as a church is an investment and a risk. We are investing in mission shaped communities, in releasing communities of disciples in the mission of Jesus. This is a risk because if we wanted to play safe we would have stuck with focussing our energies on more traditional forms of being and doing church - which in themselves are not bad - they are just not what we are called to do.
I am so glad that all the indications are that 'doubling' is what we are interested in rather than 'digging'. But we need to regularly check ourselves on this. Am I investing and putting my money, resources, gifts, skills where my mouth is? Am I prepared to take risks or responding out of fear and therefore becoming over cautious?
Fundamentally am I avaliable to the Lord and responsive to him?
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.