I’ve had an interesting week so far. Unusually, I’ve heard two people who have something to say worth hearing. However, what has interested me, even more than what they were saying, is both are past what we traditionally regard as ‘retirement age’. Jack Nicholls was the key speaker at the South West Church Leaders Retreat. Jack used to be the bishop of Sheffield until his official retirement in 2008, which makes him 68 later this year. Tony Campolo was speaking in Bristol on behalf of Taking it Public. Tony is now 76 and appears just as energetic as ever. OK the stories are the same, pretty much, but he is such a wonderful guy, I didn’t really care about that.
Jack spoke a little about his once Spiritual Director, Sister Mary Clare, who used to say there are only three things worth putting your energy, in terms of prayer, into: the praise & worship of God; the pain of the world and the repentance of the Church.
Tony was speaking, inevitably, about the Kingdom of God.
They both said the same thing – the church needs to give more attention to two things: prayer and parties.
Now that’s what I found fascinating. Two guys, very different, a combined experience of Christian leadership and ministry, which is immense, too old in many eyes, but the same reflection.