Despite the title this is a joyous message, if a challenging one.

PCC met this week.  The exciting news is that the budget for 2020 was approved which gave the go ahead to our new, expanded team for the under 18’s ministry and mission.
Jude will take on a new role of Lead Pastor for under 18’s and we are recruiting a new Children’s Minister (part-time) – tell your friends!
From 1st January 2020 the team will comprise three posts amounting to the equivalent of 2.6 full time staff. This is intended to allow:

  • more focus on ministry to all from birth to adulthood,

  • a key focus on intergenerational church

  • a more strategic approach to planning this ministry and mission

  • more capacity to reach out and pioneer beyond the Church Centre

But not alone….
What do I mean by that. And here is the challenge.
On Monday evening I shared two readings with PCC before the meeting:
Deuteronomy 6:4-8 (the Shema) famously entreaties God’s people to “Impress them (the commandments) on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home, when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you get up”.
What it doesn’t say is get someone else to do this for you!
Acts 13:2-4 is about the commissioning of Saul and Barnabas. “The Holy Spirit said set apart for me Saul and Barnabas for the work to which I called them”. The disciples fasted, prayed, laid their hands upon them and sent them off towards Cyprus. Where they went they encouraged others in the faith and to be disciples. The encouraged others to do it for themselves, Paul sending pastoral letters to encourage and guide the churches he planted to do it for themselves.
Everyone has a part to play.
For some their part is to direct and encourage the ministry and mission of other disciples. They are dedicated to the task of leading and enabling. They also minister.
That is your staff team.
Bejoy preached a couple of weeks ago about nurturing disciples.  It is the role of the whole church to encourage and keep others accountable. And he asked the question - who is doing it for you? Jesus isn’t finished with you yet. Every member can grow in passionate discipleship whether you are just starting out or you have been serving faithfully for years. For there is always more of God.
A church member shared her testimony recently about how through her perseverance and by asking for others’ help , joyfully and generously given, she grew closer to God. Alison’s recent sermon challenged us that loving service is for all, not just the few.
Similar conversations have come up in various teams including welcome, pastoral care, house groups, worship, morning prayer, evangelism and prayer ministry.
Paul talks about the church being a body with many parts. Those parts work together. Each part plays a specialised role.
But there are general responsibilities – to love, to care, to welcome newcomers and to witness.
There is a danger with specialisation that we load what we do onto a “single point of failure” as an engineer friend of mine used to call it.
When we let others do things for us then the capacity of the church as a whole is diminished.
Let the specialist specialise and let us all be the body together.
The challenge to all of us is twofold:
What is God’s specific call on my life in this next season?
What are his general responsibilities on all of us as passionate disciples?
Let’s explore the answers to these together and release Christ Church into more of what God has in store for us.
Rev Doug McHardie
Vicar, Christ Church Purley
Office 0208 763 8291