One of the big dangers of regional ministry is that it is easy to be removed from significant opportunities to connect with people who are not yet Christians. My own feeling has been we need to be intentional about working against this tendency, which invariably means consciously building in time to create space for relationships to develop. Consequently, this morning’s lesson to me - about being in being still in one place - was one I needed to hear. I spent most of the morning cutting back bushes in our front garden. The best thing about it was the people I got to chat with. After I’d had two good conversations I began to think I’d seen more of my neighbours than for quite a while. No less than six conversations later I finished the bushes. I had chats about tennis, rugby, the allotments down the road, the lads who’s racket I obviously slept through, jobs, two friends stopped in their car I hadn’t seen for a while. The only problem as far as I can see is I’ll have to cut the bushes back more often!
I’m trying to think of more ways in which people might come to me, but can’t see it as an excuse for not ‘going’. I know the Christians in Malmesbury have set up a prayer chair in the town. They simply have a sign which says ‘if you’d welcome prayer, please sit in the chair’. Apparently on day 1 a guy became a Christian as a result, which can’t be a bad start. ‘The best form of defence is attack’ - something often said in football circles and it certainly seems to be the case from what I’ve managed to watch during this first week of Euro 2008. Some who are paying my stipend will be relieved to hear I’ve not seen that many games, but with Maggie away at Lee Abbey for the weekend I’m packing them in now! I managed to watch Spain stuff Russia and Holland beat France - both games finishing 4-1. Both teams have looked sensational going forward at times (Torres the best centre forward in the world?) – however, both look vulnerable at the back and Spain were unconvincing tonight. I know Benetiz would love to bring David Villa to Anfield, but we couldn’t afford him before his display this wek has added a few more millions on his price. Still I’m enjoying a stress free Euro 2008 and looking forward to Wimbledon too.