Saturday, 25 October 2008
are you the answer?
More Clergy are being trained and ordained in the Church of England than for a decade, but the numbers worshipping have continued to drop, says the Church Statistics report for the year 2006-07, which was issued this week. Baptists statistics tell the same tale over a much longer period. Figures drawn from around the developing world where the Church is growing significantly tell the same tale – increasing the numbers of people ‘ordained’ does not have an automatic corresponding benefit in terms of increasing the Church numbers. Now, I’m not merely interested in numbers, but I do believe both the gospel and the church should work (as NCD says ‘all by itself’). So, whilst recognising I wont accumulate friends by stressing this point we (ordained, theologically trained people like myself) are not proving to be the answer in and of ourselves. We do need to re-assess how we equip tomorrow’s leaders in appropriate ways. Within BUGB we’ve made a good start in starting to talk about ‘competencies’, but I’m afraid the emphasis remains upon equipping an omni-competent individual rather than a someone who can cultivate a church. This week we’ve had three Imagine meetings where we’re trying to bring the emphasis upon 'leadership' rather than' 'leader'. It really is about more than semantics and they are signs of blessing already, which is good. We’re not far down this road, but it seems to be one of the right ones to pursue.