At Deanery Synod last night we were reminded of the three priorities that Bishop Robert has set for the Diocese of Exeter:
Growing in prayer
Making new disciples
Serving the people of Devon with joy
I was struck by a speaker who said that of these three priorities making new disciples is probably the most difficult. We can all grow in prayer and we all want to serve others with joy. But making new disciples, that’s quite a challenge.
So why is this, I wondered? I believe the answer comes from the simple fact that so often we are weak in our own discipleship. Not necessarily through any real fault of our own, but maybe because our walk with the Lord has become weak or tired. Perhaps we have been reading the same Bible notes for over twenty years; perhaps we are struggling with the whole issue of prayer; perhaps we feel we are being ineffective as Christians.
That’s why I believe that before we set about new disciples we need to review honestly where we ourselves are before for the Lord. So in Lent my challenge is to meet with as many folk from the church and chat about our faith. I realise, of course, that in one sense this is something I should be doing the whole time as a vicar. But I want to make Lent a particular time of taking stock of our relationship with the Lord.
This year Lent is of particular significance as we are going through a period of profound change in our churches. I believe that for our changes really are to make a lasting difference we need to encourage one another to stay close to the Lord, to focus on Him and to discover His will for our life together.
So get in touch and make an appointment. Or don’t be too surprised if I ask you to make time to see me. Let’s use these new forty days as a time of real preparation, as we journey to the cross together and celebrate new life in Jesus Christ.