12 hard truths C09 taught me
After 16 months the formal phase of the Connect09 campaign has wrapped up, and the Diocese is now moving into the ongoing Connecting for Life phase.
The Rev Andrew Nixon, Executive Director of Connect09, shares what he has learnt over the last couple of years.
Rather than 'Connect09 principles' these are some broader conclusions that I have come to as I have been forced to think about the big picture over the past two years.
1. The status quo isn't working.
2. The fact that so many of us are converted before 20 doesn't mean we have youth work under control; it means few adults get converted.
3. Churches usually grow by being more attractive to Christians than surrounding churches, rather than by converting unbelievers.
4. All of our churches must be 'missional' churches, led by and populated with missionaries.
5. The parish system is (to my surprise) an excellent thing.
6. People long for belonging and community - especially local community.
7. Church is rightly the locus of our lives as believers, but it is just too big a first step for un-churched unbelievers to attend.
8. Regional or 'mega' churches have a place, but they can never be a substitute for multiple local congregations engaging with local communities.
9. Our church members are a wonderful gift from God and the greatest untapped resource we possess.
10. Our senior ministers are first class people who we have failed to prepare properly for the mission situation we place them in.
11. We could do so much more if we helped each other more.
12. We must pray more for those who need to know Jesus.
St Jerome said “If an offence come out of the truth, better it is that the offence come than the truth be concealed.” Are these truths?
(The same author also warned, "the scars of others should teach us caution." I post these very cautiously indeed.)
What are your thoughts? Which ones are easiest for us to fix? Which ones are going to be the most challenging?