My normal practice is to ensure that meetings I chair are done by 9pm, 9:15 at the latest. If more time is needed, I’d rather meet more often than have things drag out. Sometimes, though, its essential to allow a conversation to be properly worked through. Last night was one such, and I got back into the house ( a 2 minute walk from church) at 10:30. It was a long, but (I hope) useful meeting.
The main topic of conversation was our church building and what needs to be done with it. We’ve engaged an architect who has drawn up a scheme which puts in bricks and mortar what we’ve told him about the mission and ministry of our church. It’s no secret that I’m very excited about it, and very much an advocate for it. However, the scheme is controversial to an extent, in part because it involves some alterations to our lovely Victorian sanctuary. I don’t know whether it will happen or not: it goes to our Church Meeting next week, and will be voted on by Church Council in June. I’m certain it needs to happen, but not so certain that I can’t accept the possibility I may be wrong. When it comes to the meeting, I’ll accept the collective decision which will have been arrived at after much thought and prayer. But in the meantime, I’m doing what I can to convince others.
I say all this because I know there are those who’ve interpreted some recent posts here as meaning that I am urging the Church to remain as it is, resisting change at any cost. That’s a complete misunderstanding of where I’m coming from, and I suspect a deliberate one. You’d have to ask those among whom I’ve ministered whether resisting change is something that has characterized my ministry, but I’d be surprised and disappointed if you could find anyone who agreed with that proposition. What I’m resisting is not change, which is essential and a sign of life. What I want to resist is managerialism, and I make no apology for that.