Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Character is of the essence

Tom Wright, in todays 'Lent for Everyone', commenting upon Matthew 24: 45-51 and the challenge to wait and behave appropriately, during a long time of 'delay' is very timely. he writes: 'this is a severe warning for all Christian leaders and teachers. Sometimes people seem to suppose that it doesn't really how you behave, that we can keep the wheels of the church turning all right without paying too much attention tot he teaching of Jesus himself, or the doctrine and lifestyle taught by his followers'. Although deeply grateful for the writing of Tom Wright, it's sad Tom Wright is no longer in post as a Bishop, as we need people of integrity, whose gravitational pull is towards the person of Jesus. 
I was struck recently by the response to a comment, I made, along the lines of character needing to be our clear priority, for the next ten years: particularly with regard to the formation of people entering, or contemplating, ordained Ministry. No one was arguing; it was the note of surprise, this should have been said, which struck me. I'm sure I said it should always be our priority, never mind the next, or last, ten years, but it appeared to strike some people as a novel thought. A number of individuals spoke to me, commenting how important this observation was. I felt, though no one said it this way, they were saying: 'this sounds like common sense, so obvious, how could we have missed it'. (!!!)
Much has been under the spotlight, in terms of review and re-structuring recently, among every mainline UK denomination. A remaining question, however, is how seriously we have reviewed and reflected upon what kind of people we are encouraging into our Ministry. It feels as if much within the processes and systems is more concerned about getting people in to fill positions and provide fees for training establishments, than to nurture the growth of the likeness of Jesus.

No comments: