~ Proclaim faith afresh ~
So far I’ve done a poor job at getting back on the blogging horse! I mentioned in the last post that I had a diocesan panel for ordination (1 presentation and 3 interviews) …well….
I unanimously got through!
This means I’m through to the ‘live finals’ (as I like to call it) 10-12 June more commonly / acceptably known as BAP (Bishops advisory Panel) This is the last stage of the process and I will know whether I am accepted for training or not soon after.
Here are the presentation notes I used for a 5 min presentation on ‘criterion H’ mission and evangelism.
As part of this ordination process I’ve been reflecting on the ordinal services and there’s a phrase from the deceleration of assent that I keep being drawn towards – a phrase that’s used for deacons, priests and Bishops, its this…
There is a responsibility to proclaim the faith afresh to each generation.
As I look at the painful trend of church decline in the UK, I believe that we as a church have a responsibility to be intentional about communicating the gospel afresh in today’s culture.
By this I don’t mean watering scripture down or throwing out our rich traditions.
What I do mean is taking these key foundations of scripture, tradition, reason and experience and look at them through the critical lens of culture in our contexts.
I believe that understanding the culture and context we serve within will help us be more effective in communicating the gospel in this generation.
This isn’t a new theory it’s something we see that apostle Paul embrace and live out effectively. Just one example would be…
In Acts 17 he stands before the Athenians and says
I see you are extremely religious. As I went through the city and looked carefully at the objects of your worship, I found among them an altar with the inscription, ‘To an unknown god. ’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you.
What a platform to share the gospel from!
Paul studied the culture and found the heartbeat of it – idolatry, and he used this as a springboard to proclaim the faith in a fresh way to a gentile generation.
The context I’m set within is a vibrant city centre full of students and working professionals who are fast paced (well maybe not always the students…!) creative and immersed in a media driven culture.
As a result, a team I lead have been asking the question
what would it look like for us with the gifts and resources we have to proclaim our faith afresh in our context, in our culture, in our generation?
Just one of our latest responses to this was we put on a event called the Gospel according to Bond – with using over 30 laity we were able to reach over a thousand people reflecting something of the creativity, beauty and dynamic nature of God and His Church
But ultimately it was a platform to proclaim the gospel
We interspersed live music and clips with short and sharp talks looking at:
Bonds desire for adventure breaking into the ordinary
Bonds disposable view of love
Bonds mission and identity
We applied these things to our lives and used them as a springboard to communicate faith – the message of Jesus, his covenant love and Kingdom adventure in a fresh way.
Through events like these we have seen people’s perception of Church change.
We have seen the laity grow in confidence and ownership in their own incarnational mission bringing people from their own workplaces and contexts.
We have seen people come to faith in Jesus through the follow on alpha course and become part of our church family.
Now I appreciate this event wouldn’t work or be achievable in every context but that’s the beauty of this model
The principle of looking at the resources we DO HAVE through the lens of culture and context we serve in remains the same.
So my question for us the church in our different parish contexts would be…
Looking at the gifts within us and the culture around us – how can we proclaim our faith afresh – to each generation?