Monday, 21 March 2011

the most inspiring event this year

Last night I went to the most inspiring event this year .... so far! I judge that on the basis of the number of people who used those words, 'that was inspiring' afterwards. To be honest, I lost count.
So where was I? I'm tempted to end the blog there, but it soared ahead of hearing Tony Campolo, who is always inspiring, because this time, it was 'ordinary' people making a difference where God has placed them .... and they were our people.
Last night was our 'ordinary' 3-in-1 event held at Counterslip. Once upon a time, when we started using '3-in-1', the "three" was worship, seminars & agm. (!! - yes, I know) Now, the "three" are 'worshipping, sharing stories and listening together'.
What was inspiring for many, maybe everyone, was hearing what God is up to in and through other people. We heard about Nailsea BC and why the fact they don't use their brand new building for Sunday worship is a good and deliberate thing. We heard about how couples are intentionally moving onto Knowle West estate in Bristol and the network of households is beginning to overlap with the more traditional frameworks of Church. We heard how two of our bi-vocational track students are beginning to get into skin of St George. We heard how our new churches initiatives money is helping fund new beginnings in Painswick. We heard from Barrie and Sue, who were the heroes of the night. Barrie is 84, Sue 'much younger'. Barrie began working in our Churches, as a paid stipendary Minister in the year I was born. He moved to Paulton BC, which had seen better days, when he was 75. Since then, God has turned this Church around.
When I began as a Regional Minister, I said I wanted to turn association meetings around 180 degrees. For me, any meeting of the Association seemed to be primarily about attending, loyalty, faithfulness to the organisation. My desire was to see 'association' and 'associating' as something, which might benefit people and Churches. I didn't aim for inspiration, but now I'm not willing to settle for anything else.

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