On a day when we anticipate Roy Hodgson being appointed as the new England Manager, my mind (and prayer) is with the BUGB Futures Steering Group, also meeting today.
I’ve often looked at the similarities and differences between football managers and Baptist Ministers and whilst this is not in any way a genuinely comparable issue, I was struck by the criticisms about Roy Hodgson, listening to the radio five live phone-in, whilst in the car. “Uninspiring”, “safe pair of hands”, “cheaper”, “you know what you’ll get”.
These are all comments I can imagine people offering regarding the Baptist Futures conversation. The question was asked last week ‘what’s the vision’?
It’s not the easiest thing in the world to present an appropriate and inspiring vision, when the result of needing to reduce the annual budget by in excess of £1 million, is the focus of attention.
Whist I have been one, among many others, who has argued this is an opportunity as much as a crisis, it is inappropriate to walk around with a smile on your face when people will suffer the consequences of the difficult decisions we face.
However, the questions of vision, future, mission, etc. do need addressing. My response brings us back to the state of English football. There will be no point people complaining about Roy Hodgson when England fail to win the European Championships, as if it would have been a foregone conclusion with Harry at the helm. The reality is the grassroots, however defined, are not producing sufficient players of sufficient quality to provide a good-enough team to work with. Whilst I would have appointed Harry Redknapp, it is the whole system we need to address. So within BUGB. What we need within BUGB is not so much a national vision, but thirteen regional ones and the national leadership, which has sufficient apostolic, prophetic and evangelistic awareness and capability to empower them.