It's the BUGB / BMS annual assembly this weekend. This time we are meeting in West Bromwich, which will make a change from the run down seaside venues often chosen. It will also mark the first anniversary of Lynn Green’s appointment as General Secretary.
Sadly Lynn’s been receiving medical treatment over the last few weeks but she has made a great start to her time as General Secretary. A leader who is good at gathering people she has been a significant part of the changing nature of the Union and an able advocate for its new future. As she has visited ministers conferences, Association events and the like she has been a voice of vision and fresh purpose for the Union. We have a long way to go but Lynn’s work, alongside others and a changing Council is producing signs of positive movement and changing culture.
There remain all manner of questions about the future and how the new ways of working will enable our life together to flourish. Not all the changes instigated in the Futures process were thought through and some will have unintended consequences which have yet to emerge. There is also a danger, like the denominational consultation in the 1990’s that we instigate some change but settle for a new status quo too early and fail to see things through. And significant questions remain about how robust our new structures are and how they embody Baptist values and ecclesiology. But overall we are moving in a positive direction.
So I anticipate we will meet in good heart. There remains the pain of loss for those made redundant in this process and others who were hurt by what was said and done. But by and large I detect a sense of goodwill and positive energy for the future as well as a desire to move from worrying about structures to engaging churches in mission.
As for me, I’m wired for organisation and strategy stuff and I miss being as involved in national BUGB life (though it has given me a chance to be more involved in Association ife) but maybe its just for a season and a new way of contributing will emerge in the years to come. Anyway, whatever the future might involve I'm looking forward to this weekend.