As we move through these first few months following the General Election and adjust to a new government, I thought it might be helpful to look back over the last couple of months and reflect on the tactics and strategies of at least some of the political parties during the campaign, in order to consider possible questions they might raise for our own lives.
I am thinking of three aspects in particular. The first of these is the fear of making a horrendous mistake which might become a so-called “game-changer”. Safety first is the dominant stance, playing a mainly defensive formation rather than taking risks which might enthuse and excite the electorate about change and renewal. The second is question dodging, the refusal to deal directly with issues raised by the public by consistently switching the conversation onto repetitive statements that we feel we have heard a thousand times before. The third is the careful stage-managing of meetings, the hanging around with your own, with people who always seem to be party supporters who agree with what is being said.
How might all this translate into questions that challenge us? Here are a few possibilities…
How does your fear of failure limit your imagination? What might help you to feel more free to trust in yourself and to trust in those around you?
What are the questions that you prefer to dodge? And what are the questions that you might be asking? How, for example, has your understanding of and relationship with God changed over the last few months?
Who are the people you most want to relate to – those who agree with you most of the time, whose lives most closely mirror your own? How do you handle difference? How do you need to “change the conversation” so that it is more focused on the concerns and interests of those you encounter?
These are questions for all of us as individuals, but they also lie at the heart of our corporate church and circuit life. So, as we continue with the debate about what makes us a healthy church, let’s commit to holding each other in thought and prayer, not least that we might be open to live and believe more riskily.
And let’s in particular hold in thought and prayer Chris and Lucy Mason, as we congratulate them on their marriage on 16th May; Tim Francis and Sally Spencer, whose Ordinands’ Testimony Service is on Thursday 11th June at 7.30pm at Almondbury; Helen Roberts, as she prepares to move to the circuit in August and whose Welcome Service is on Sunday 6th September at 3.00pm at Honley, and Tim Moore, as he prepares to take up his role as a Pioneer Minister in the circuit, and whose commissioning will take place in the Welcome Service.
May we all be open to the trust God places in us.