This week I’m at a conference for the ministers who are team leaders in larger Baptist churches. I don’t go to many conferences but this gathering is always worthwhile. It is great to get together with people whose experience of ministry is similar to mine who share many of the same strains and tensions, joys and excitements
I might blog about some of the detail later but one of the things we have touched on and which is worth thinking about is how we ensure we value discipleship. How do we enable the members of our congregations to grow into maturity in Christ so that the way they are at home, work and play is living holiness; engaging with culture and being real about the strains of normal life. And what part does the church community play in this? Surely being a local church is more about being a community which supports people to grow in their faith and encourages growth in virtue than it is about being a resource centre. Yet there is a danger that larger churches, if we are not careful, reduce church life to a series of programmes (because programmes are something we are good at) and worship gatherings to a time of personal resourcing where individuals come for their weekly enthusiasm fix.