It was a privilege to attend Lynn's induction as the BUGB's new General Secretary yesterday afternoon at Sutton Coldfield Baptist Church.
Following a resume of the story leading up to Lynn's appointment, told by Jenny Royal (moderator of the trustee board and of the search group) and Lynn, the formal part of the induction was led by Ernie Whalley current BUGB president. The preacher was Paul Hills, Regional Minister Team Leader for Eastern Baptist Association but also, in an earlier life, pastor of the church Lynn was in prior to entering ministry. He preached from John 15:1-17, centering his attention on Jesus' use of the phrase 'I choose you'. The sung parts of worship were led by David Ellis, minister of Small Heath Baptist church in Birmingham. Others who took part included Donald Campbell, Gale Richards and Grenville Overton.
But this doesn't really tell the story. The songs we sang and the feel of the event, set down a marker for the sort of General Secretary Lynn is likely to be. The songs, chosen in partnership with her family included one specifically with younger children in mind. The remainder a cross section of recent worship music (Redman, Hughes and even Rend Collective).
When Lynn and family were prayed for we were also invited to share any prophetic words we might have (something I don't imagine has happened at many previous General Secretary Inductions). I'm not sure that this counts as a word from God, and didn't say it at the time, but my own message to Lynn is:
"Be the gatherer God has called you to be; and gather the Union in the places and round the behaviours that God is showing you".
Lynn's taking on a difficult role, at a significant cross roads in our denominational life. She has the good will, prayers and support of a wide cross section of our Union.