One week on from the BUGB Assembly I'm still wondering what to make of it. There remains, in m.y mind, a sense of 'everything has changed, but nothing has changed'. So, what do I mean? - it feels as if I'm interviewing myself!
Essentially, in an attempt to unravel my feelings and responses, it felt as if, in so many ways, it was business as usual. That's not to say there were not many good things. Overwhelmingly, I 'enjoyed' this years Assembly experience - certainly that's how I've responded, this week, when asked the question, by various people. Certainly, I rejoice in the appointment of Lyn Green, as our new General Secretary. I've known Lyn for a good while and have every confidence in her and in her abilities.
I guess, nagging away, at the back of my mind is an element of disease. In many ways, this will appear to be unreasonable, but if we're asking, what is the Spirit saying to the Baptist Union, we're not hearing the answer, through the BUGB Assembly. The reality is (well, from my perspective) we're too scripted to have any opportunity to insert what the Spirit might be saying. We're too 'representative', which makes us very unrepresentative of the average Baptist Church. Also, as one person, said to me, 'it feels like it's the Trade Union for Baptist Ministers'. The big danger i,s we may be structured to become a Union of Ministers, of the ordained, accredited, variety, if we cannot turn the tide.
Considering we've made some bold statements about re-structuring around mission and looking to become a union of churches in association, the evidence suggests otherwise. How many times were words 'local churches', or 'associations' uttered, from the main platform? If you wanted to connect with local church life and challenge, it was best found in 'The Zone', among oftentimes small gatherings, but real, honest, seeking God.