Boy, what a weekend. This seems to be the most appropriate way to start! There's probably a more eloquent or erudite way to say it, but my brain is addled from the events of the last two days.
So, let's reflect a little.
First of all I really ought to say thank you to everyone who made the induction on Saturday a celebration. Family, friends, ministry colleagues, folk from Bedford and Upminster churches etc.
The worship was a bit loud, or so I'm told, but then again I did choose the songs. Simon's message was spot on, and fitted the theme precisely. It set the scene for where I believe God wants to lead the church in general as we face up to the challenge of being a 21st century incarnational and missional community. I loved the image of the world having moved so far that our arms are no longer long enough to reach them from where we are, tucked away in our buildings. And maybe it's not just our buildings but our safe places–housegroups, prayer groups and church events for church people even when we think they are for the unchurched.
And then came Sunday. The first of how many, none of us know. But you've got to start somewhere, and I chose to start with Abraham. I've preached on Abraham before and no doubt I will return to Abraham again in the future. In his story we see God's unfolding story of his mission (to bless the world through Abraham's descendants), and we see Abraham's journey towards maturity of faith as he walks and lives in relationship with the God who calls him to a new place and different future.
Overall, I really don't know what to make of it. I'm too exhausted by it all and of course it's surely natural to have questions and concerns. I'm sure I had them 8 years ago when I started at Cotton End, and I'm sure I had them before that in Berkhamsted and Newark.
The thing is, this isn't about me creating church in my image. It is about us discovering God's particular expression of his mission that he wants us to live out in this place. There are some principles to apply and others to graft in from elsewhere, but this is about God not me.
So, we're underway and I've been making a few calls and setting up a few visits. How long it will take me to get around to connecting with everyone, I'm not sure, but I know that my tea-time on Wednesday a few more will have ticks by their names in my little book!!
And now it's time to release into the wild the crane fly that's found its way into my study.