The Inside Column 27/9

Posted in: The Inside Column- Sep 27, 2015 No Comments

Good morning and a warm welcome to all. If you are visiting with us today, we would love to get to know you. Please feel free to stay for a hot drink after the service.

Last week we had Synod over in Westport, and yes, it rained a lot. Here is a little bit of the Bishops charge, as he shares his thoughts on what the church might be like in ten years’ time. You can find the whole of his charge at www.nelsonanglican.org.nz/bishops-charges

A vision: A picture of the Anglican Church in the Diocese of Nelson in ten years’ time. In ten years’ time the parochial model inherited from the UK will be dead in the water. It belongs to a world that no longer exists – and never will again.

We have to begin now developing something new. And I think that means transforming the parochial structure into a network of indigenous local churches that are passionate about being the body of Christ within the community where they find themselves; churches that will find creative ways of expressing that faith within the gathered fellowship, while holding faithfully those distinctives that make us Anglican.

They will be linked together by relationship into missional districts. The role of vicar as the pastor will change to that of the priest as leader – but even that will be redefined (from institutional to missional).

Within the next ten years decisions will be made with respect to existing church plant. Are they aiding or hindering our mission? In some places (such as the lovely old church we were in last evening here in Westport) the church building might be a very definite ‘sacred space’ within the local community – but it must never be shut during the week and open only on Sunday morning. These ‘sacred places’ must be open and redefined as a house of prayer 24/7.

An existing church plant may, in other places, embrace more than one incarnational congregation reaching specific people groups such as families or youth – an existing church shares its facilities with a new expression of church. In other places plant may have to be sold. This is essentially an urban vision and it may be that in more traditional rural areas the parochial model may re-form into a house church model meeting in the local church.

In ten years’ time the clergy person as the solo professional will be a distant memory. It will give way to team ministries led by those who are obviously gifted (and equipped) to be both team leaders and team members because these teams must demonstrate ‘deep community’.

I hope you have some good times with the family over the school holidays.

 

Yours in Christ

Philip

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