The Inside Column 27/10

Posted in: The Inside Column- Oct 28, 2019 No Comments

Good morning and welcome to St Barnabas Stoke – if you are visiting today we hope you encounter God’s goodness and love for you as you join us in worshipping Him, please feel free to stick around afterwards for a coffee and a chat.

Bishop Steve’s charge to Synod…

My brothers and sisters, I stand here today humbled by the opportunity I have been given by God to serve this great diocese. I am grateful to the Electoral Synod for the trust you have bestowed. I am also mindful that I step in the footsteps of forebears whose devotion and sacrifices I admire. I particularly think of previous bishops, clergy and lay leaders who have served this diocese over the last 160 years, proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus. If it were not for them I would not be standing before you today.

By His grace over the next 10 years, I would like to focus on the following priorities…

1. Gospel priority
That we will be living, breathing, speaking, celebrating and being energized by the good news of Jesus – The Gospel. We live in an age when people are open to trying anything – desperate for hope, meaning, and purpose – the Good News! Perhaps some of us may have become a bit apologetic, ‘ashamed’ of the Gospel. Perhaps we have become discouraged by the effort we put in and limited fruit/results from our perspective. Maybe we’ve been let down. The words of Paul come to mind… “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes”.

2. Discipleship
That discipleship would be a key feature of ministry around here. It’s encouraging that a number of teams across the Diocese are participating in the Good Soil Collective. I know that’s one model and doesn’t necessarily suit everyone. However, whatever model of discipleship you prefer or are working with, the question is: What is it and is it raising disciples? Who are you discipling?

3. Leadership Development
Everything rises or falls on leadership. Outside of divine intervention and prayer, everything does truly depend on the quality of leaders a ministry or organization has. If we’re not intentionally raising leaders, then having money, systems, plans and vision would still not be enough to see growth. Next year, I will be calling the diocese to a season of prayer and fasting. Bishop Oscar challenged me and us during the ordination service to be bold. The needs around us can feel overwhelming and dragging us to be inward-looking. Yet it’s precisely at this moment that I sense God challenging us to enlarge our tents, to dream bigger, to lift up our eyes and embrace his greater vision. Can I invite us to be bold and to experiment, try new ideas, develop structures that are nimble and flexible and to invest resources for growth rather than maintenance? My prayer is that we will recognize this incredible moment to reimagine mission so that future generations will witness to our great God and savior Jesus Christ.

The full transcript is at
Yours in Christ


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