My country church of St Giles in Horsted Keynes has a recently revised Mission Action Plan ‘to grow in faith, love and numbers’.
After Christmas we always join the Roman Catholics for their St Stephen’s Day Patronal Mass. This year their Deacon asked all present to take some responsibility for church growth by identifying someone half their age and praying for them every day for a year.
Getting more members to have a heart for drawing people into the life of the church is pivotal. I relayed the Deacon’s prayer suggestion to St Giles along with what I called a ‘scissor strategy’ for the numerical growth we’re seeking. I touched on this briefly in last month’s blog and thought I’d expand on it since it seems a vital mission key.
Each one reach one is motto for 2013. Reaching out, cutting into spiritual apathy with the two scissor blades of prayer and invitation is the strategy. It picks up on a saying of Walter Wink: 'The future of the world lies with the intercessors and connectors.'
Very many of our church members have got that gift of connecting – building friendships. A lot of them are salt to the community life of the village. To complement this I find myself as parish priest returning to our need to connect more with God in prayer and to seek from prayer the best directing of our energies and those in our orbit. ‘More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.’ (Lord Tennyson).
Our splendid spire points up to a God whose possibilities, exceeding our imagining, are released on earth through prayer.
'The future of the world lies with the intercessors and connectors.' I find myself waving a pair of scissors around periodically in the notices appealing to our members to help change the future of the village by being the intercessors and connectors essential to seeing the body of Christ built up in Horsted Keynes and its surrounds.
Each one reach one – by scissor blades of prayer and invitation!
PS. There’s a message here for bloggers and browsers – that our connecting up of people and ideas be fortified by prayer about all that - or whom - we engage with on the internet so that our browsing, far from idle, will impact the future of the world.
May Almighty God bless you, dear browser, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit!