Deep down we all know it’s time
There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world; and that is, an idea whose time has come.
- Victor Hugo.
There are certainly plenty of reasons not to be involved in Connect09. For those of us who always tend toward cynicism, it's easy to dismiss it as just another "initiative from head office'.
Some are simply sceptical from the outset. There may be an aspect they do not agree with, or an element that doesn't meet their expectation " "If you could just show me that such-and-such is included, then I could commit."
Others are happy enough with the concept - even excited about the possibilities - but the ideas just haven't translated into action yet. A bit like getting more exercise.
Still others say they haven't heard about it yet. This is certainly a significant obstacle. Communicating the Connect09 message clearly to some sixty-odd thousand Anglicans in 269 parishes is no small thing. Where ministers are reluctant, or simply snowed under with other matters, it is nigh on impossible.
I could go on. With so many difficulties before us, is it actually worth attempting to unite to undertake something of this magnitude? Surely the question can reasonably be asked: "Why do Connect09?" Believe me, I have asked it. And I can think of at least three solid answers as to why we should.
1. We need to. The evidence: 66% of people have no regular contact with a church; and 66% of them claim they do not even know anyone who does. That's around 2 million people who won't come into contact with us if we just keep doing what we're doing " even if we do it brilliantly!
2. We can. Christians in Bible-based churches in Sydney in 2008 would have to rate among the most well-resourced, well-taught and well-equipped parcel of believers since " ever? We are blessed with an infrastructure or parishes, organisations and schools - full of terrifically capable people - that makes Connect09 excitingly possible.
3. We decided to. I realise this sounds like an odd reason for those of us who don't feel very Anglican, but as a diocese, we (via our representatives at Synod) made a decision to give this a red-hot go. And what better way to express our unity than by connecting people to Christ?
But I'll tell you why I really, truly believe in the Connect09 campaign. This idea's time has come. It is time to genuinely connect. And deep down, I suspect you know it too.
Andrew Nixon is the Executive Director of Connect 09 and a minister with many years of parish-based ministry.