Synod: crunch time?
At this time last year our synod had to come to terms with the reality of significant financial losses arising from the Global Financial Crisis. Many were hurt and disappointed. Some were angry.
The rest of the world are still dealing with the fall out of the Global Financial crisis and, to a certain extent, so must we.
As one flicks through the pre-synod papers, there are a number of agenda items to do with Governance type issues. Also, the sale of Bishopscourt is on our agenda. It would be a little surprising if such items were on our agenda if we did not sustain the losses that we did.
Tightening up procedures is not necessarily a bad thing (though it can be if they inhibit what one is trying to achieve - perhaps this is why established organisations can struggle to climb out of a plateau). But, at the same time, I hope that we have moved beyond dealing with past disappointments and hurts.
We must look to the future, and in particular how to reach the millions who do not know Jesus. In this light, the opportunity for discussion about the new direction of Evangelism Ministries to facilitate 'New Churches' has the potential of great significance, as we consider the flexibility that will be required to reach more people for Jesus. Another such item relates to the newly formed Mission Areas (the Senior Ministers in my own Mission Area will be having lunch before synod one day, so keen were they to continue our stimulating discussions).
Someone posted a comment after my blog last week, asking what the fundamentals are that we should be focussing on. It is a great question, which I will respond to in this way. There is an important place for accountability, and synod is part of that process. However, any organisation that focuses on the past is destined for decline and, if it continues, extinction.
We must focus our energies on the future. In God's kindness, our Diocese still has been entrusted with incredible resources to use to reach the lost. I hope we have (or catch) the vision of the opportunities before us, and that this will embolden us to make the tough decisions that one sometimes must.
My question for this week and synod is this: Will we dwell in the past, or look to the future?