“I think I would want to say to clergy . . . and to laity: We can only do what God enables us to do, and the rest is his problem. So, if you can’t do things, don’t be guilty. . . Keep a sane home life, and keep up with your friends, and do what you can, having done that,
and spend time with God in prayer.
If that means we end up as a faithful remnant, so be it.
But my bet is, if we do go for simpler, humbler, and so on, if we do what God resources us to do, if we don’t exhaust ourselves, and if we get rid of guilt — and I am the champion of self-imposed guilt — the Church of God will grow.”
Justin Welby ‘The Boss’
The Archbishop of Canterbury said this in an interview on his return from sabbatical. He was pilloried by the usual press suspects for taking three months off during the Covid crisis.
I think he was doing what Jesus did – getting away from all the hustle and hassle to spend time working out what God was calling him to be and do. Like all church leaders, he is struggling with politics, financial crisis and ongoing congregational decline – but also a leader with a real heart for the growth of God’s Kingdom in bringing people to know the love of God in Christ.
Just like Jesus, he has re-emerged with a renewed sense of his calling. His message is one of the healthiest and most hopeful we have had in a long time.
I have now spoken at length about Harbour Churches going for growth. Justin’s message is therefore not only timely for me in my position of leadership, but for all of us as together we respond to the challenge and opportunity of being a growth focussed church.
If you would like to have a fuller conversation about the vision for growth of Harbour Churches, we have two dedicated sessions on Friday 1st October at 10 am, Church Room, W. Wittering, and 6pm @ St James Centre, Birdham.
One thing I hope we can all do is to support the Celebration of Harvest Festival in our village churches on Sunday 3rd October (10am WW/Bham and 11am Itchenor). These are God given opportunities to invite family, friends and neighbours to share in vibrant worship and be inspired and enabled to care for God’s creation at this time when the whole world is waking up to the climate crisis.
May we see and act on the new things that God is doing among us.