Synod has its Ole Gunnar Solskjaer moment

Hope, commitment, youthfulness and a smile on its face. What a week for General Synod with powerful and passionate debates about evangelism, growing the church on social housing estates and evangelism amongst young people.

·        “call on every worshipping community to make evangelism a planned priority for the coming year; and always”

·        “encourage every worshipping community, diocese and the National Church Institutions to promote, within the national discourse, a renewed confidence in Christian evangelism and discipleship as bringing a positive, wholesome and practical benefit to individual lives and the life of the nation”

·        “affirm the importance of evangelism to and with younger people, recognising that many parishes and fresh expressions of church are doing excellent work with young people”

This morning I read extensive reports on the debates in the Church Times alongside Jesus’s parable of the mustard seed.

  ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.’ Matthew 13: 31-32


So if I am to live this story today I have three things to do.

·        My personal task is to think of how the joyful kingdom seed planted in my own life can grow and touch everyone I will meet today (Birds of the Air).

·        I have also got to think deeply about the Lent course that I am leading for a local estate church. How much life, joy and encouragement can I possibly pump into these good folks.

·        And thirdly, for a while now we in LyCiG have been talking about our commitment to young people. So it is about time we got on with it and moved to the next level. Having Harry now working for us will be a big part of this particular jigsaw.

Oh and another little God inspired and Synod reminding task that I and we have got. Some time ago it occurred to me that we don’t talk much about evangelism these days. It seems to get squeezed out by our social community mission, emphasis on spirituality and constant conversation about liturgy. When I shared this thought with a few other missioner friends there was general agreement. So last September we ran our first ‘Talking about the E word’ day here in Leeds. About a hundred and thirty folks (mainly clergy) attended as Sophie Jelley, Matt Woodcock and myself led the event. Afterwards there was enough interest to run it again (if you want to know more you can go to the Leeds diocesan website and catch our YouTube video). Other dioceses are showing real interest in having their own ‘E word’ day so the Kingdom of joy, light, goodness and of God is planted as a tiny seed and grows.

May our great and all giving God be with us as we seek to serve Him and our people.

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