One of the consequences of my thinking over and over something, which also includes discussing it out loud, is that it can appear to be just a lot of talking and not a lot of doing. I am very grateful to the Leadership Team for creating such an open ended space to help me think around and around and over and over what is on my heart, mind and soul. Let me give you an example.
Last autumn we spent four months talking around and about small groups in the life of the church. We first of all recognised the sheer number of them: we have Fellowship Groups, the band who play on Sunday mornings, the ukulele group, the team for Coffee Pot or Lunch Club, the teams behind our toddler groups, SODA, Who let the Dads out?, Jolly Crafters, Hope and Light, Jolt and J2, BASE, Messy Church, the Table Tennis Group, the Art Group, the Extraordinary Women and all who help in the Scouting and Girl Guiding Groups we host. This might explain why we talked for so long but yet seemed to come up with so little.
However, we made no firm decision. There was no overwhelming recommendation to the church and I am glad we did so as nothing prepared us for what has become known as ‘The New Normal’ in the light of Covid-19. Yet, none of this time spent in conversation was wasted.
Like dormant seeds our conversations went deep into my heart, mind and soul and it is only now am I aware of new seedlings sprouting forth. The most important reminder to me is how important small groups are to the life of this church. I had never taken stock of just how many there were and if ‘The New Normal’ reminds us we cannot go back to how things once were, it reminds us that small groups are still key to our life and ministry and mission as a church.
‘The New Normal’ reminds us that our church has been here before. In 1871 they dismantled and rebuilt in a new place. In 2020 we are to dismantle and to rebuild and a key building block will be the place of small groups.
What they will look like I am not yet sure but I do have a few thoughts to chew over and to explore with you. Are you ready to listen and to talk?