Today I was at the Somerset Churches Together 'Gathering' event. It was a great day in many ways – informative, challenging and inspiring. The title was ‘Churches in Community: from Vision to Action.’ It’s the from vision into action bit that’s so crucial and so typically absent. Reflecting on the title before hand (as SCT chair I had to think of something to introduce things) I realised this again. Truth is, vision is easier to uncover than the ability to translate it into action. Church after church have some lovely vision statements (even if they all sound like Saddleback re-visited), but when I begin to probe what difference they’ve made, it’s an all too familiar story – sadly. I need to do more thinking in order to begin to answer ‘why?’ in any sensible way, but there’s a few obvious components:
- We’re doing too much already, so new initiative gets stifled before it gets off the runway.
- The Minister fears it’ll mean more work, so would rather not go there.Someone remembers ‘we tried that once, didn’t work’.