A Passion for Life – Day 2

The calm before the storm. Still in planning mode. Nothing directly AP4L happening today. The events kick off tomorrow.

The day started with staff meeting at 9.15am. The three of us (Administrator, Assistant and me) meet weekly to review what’s happened the previous week and to plan what’s up and coming. As expected the week’s events loomed large in our discussions. Managed to shift everything onto the Assistant’s plate so that I can concentrate on two talks for Sunday. He’s better at getting things done than I am and I’m more experienced as a speaker; so we work well as a team!

One of the frustrations of church ministry in our urban setting is how little time we actually spend with the people we want to influence; namely the congregation! We see them on a Sunday and most of that we’re not actually talking. I’m talking and they might be listening or we’re singing, or we’re praying. All good stuff, but the face to face ‘ground war’ hand to hand combat ministry of encouraging, challenging, rebuking and training happens so infrequently. Sometimes we’ll see them midweek at Knowing God but that’s the Assistant’s bag and I’m not there. But if  people are away they don’t get to hear what we say and we don’t get to see them for a week or two. Lots can happen in that time. Decisions can be taken, mistakes can be made and opportunities missed. Church ought to be a time of seeing people but often I emerge frustrated at who’s not there! I can almost guarantee that if I have an important announcement to make the people who most need to hear it will be away. I have no idea why the Lord arranges it that way. Probably to humble me because what I have to say isn’t that important in the grand scheme of things. Or perhaps to protect them from my over zealous exhortations!

And so e-mails have become a way of trying to get information out and gain influence. But unlike a conversation they quickly become part of the background noise. I get between 50-100 e-mails a day and I suspect others get loads more. It’s very easy for our e-mail about church events or whatever to be lost in the melee of the inbox. Anyway, we planned a notice to go out to the blokes to encourage them to come along to the curry night. The Women’s International Evening of International Cuisine for Internationals of all International Nations is sold out. Go girls! Much rejoicing over a full house. The lads have been slower to respond.

After the church staff meeting I have a weekly family staff meeting with Rosslyn. We meet at Bertie & Boo’s in Balham for a flat white. The diaries are opened and we make sure we know who’s doing what in the week and month ahead. We went over who’s been invited to which events, who’s accepted and who’s rejected. It’s rarely the people we thought would respond positively that do. But the Lord is king. There were a couple of interested responses out of left field from time in the school playgroud but as the day panned out they fizzled away. Pants.

Spoke with the boys at Quirky who are putting the ‘finishing’ touches to the animation for Saturday night. The evening is entitled ‘Why bother with Jesus?’ They’d sent me three scenarios of why some things are worth bothering with and why some things aren’t. Each were brilliant. We could have all of them. I’m still hopeful. But I’m not the one producing them. And the person who is said that having one by Saturday is realistic. But I live in hope!

We got our man;  a member of our congregation who’s a recently converted British Hindu who works as a Doctor. He clearly thinks Jesus is worth bothering with and so I’m looking forward to hearing what he says when I interview him and ask him to give us his testimony.

Listened to the music for Saturday night so that I could get a flavour of what was being played. Spoke to Colin and firmed up the details of what’s being sung and when. Realised that the celtic version of  ‘When I Survey’ is enjoyably more upbeat than the traditional version. And approved it’s use!

Worked on the Saturday night schedule so that we know what’s happening, when. Blogged to try and keep local spirits up with news of what’s going on and to keep myself accountable for what’s happening in my own life this week.

Had a long chat with Al Stewart who’s speaking for us at the men’s curry night and on saturday. He is wonderful. He’s so easy to work with. There’s no agenda except helping us to help others hear about Christ. We finalised which passages he was going to speak on. He wanted to know who was going to be there, what they were like and so on. He spend last week speaking in central London and had one gig at the Royal Opera House. I painted a picture of Chestnut Grove School that I think has managed his expectations!

In the evening Rosslyn and I went to the Royal Festival Hall to watch Rufus sing as part of the Telferscot School Choir. They did a great job as one of only half a dozen or so schools in Lambeth who were invited to take part. He’ll be in pieces today because he didn’t get to bed till almost half ten.I looked for opportunities to chat to the other parenst from school but it’s bad form when anoither school are playing! Chances to advertise AP4L were limited. But it’s all good relationship forming stuff and so it’s never wasted. Had a glass of red, saw the first few overs of the IPL and then went to bed.

Wierd day. It’s AP4L week but it doesn’t feel like it yet.

6 thoughts on “A Passion for Life – Day 2

  1. Lauri Moyle March 16, 2010 / 6:16 pm

    Good work Perks. A day in the life of a pastor is always something I appreciate reading. Keep up the energy! You got Jesus on your side.

    My day included talking about the message CARE wants supporters to hear. We are a Christian social policy charity that takes its que from Jesus and CAREs through the loving work of crisis pregnancy centres and relationship and sex education for the women and men, and the unborn children who need Christ’s love and compassion. Our policy work is heard hitting because the love and patience of volunteers hits softly where the pained need an embrace.

    Why do you think that we talk about Options and setting up sex education in the commission and encourage that and use CAREconfidencial and Evaluate (CAREs sex ed arm) as a source for what we do practically, but never seem to mention CAREs policy work in church. It seems to be the CI or CCFON more often than not…

    • theurbanpastor March 17, 2010 / 6:50 pm

      1. before you came along I didn’t know about CARE’s political work
      2. The CCFON and CI stuff is from our ‘tribe’ – we’re familiar with David Holloway from Reform and Andrea Williams from St Helen’s connections.
      3. They’re stuff is good and helpful, as I’m sure that CARE’s is but I just haven’t looked at it.
      4. You’d need to ask Andrew Nicholls who’s more familiar with these things why involvement with CARE is limited to the Pregnancy Resource Centre and Sex Ed but doesn’t go wider; he’ll know!
      5. Keep pushing stuff my way and we’ll get it out.
      6. Let me know how that conversation goes with the other CCBers who have a strong social conscience
      thanks
      perks

      • Lauri March 19, 2010 / 1:57 pm

        Hi Perks,
        Really appreciate this. I was just really curious why co-mission tap into the caring side of our work but not the policy side.
        Ill bring the latest news letter along Sunday.

        Lauri

  2. Sam March 16, 2010 / 11:12 pm

    Hi Richard,

    Thanks for the post – it’s encouraging to see what you get up to day to day, and to see what’s going on for APFL elsewhere!

    I was at the Opera House last week, and thought Al did a great job – glad to hear he’s got lots more on his plate.

    • theurbanpastor March 17, 2010 / 8:58 am

      Hey Sam
      It’s fair to say that we’re getting our money’s worth out of Al! One fo the many great things bout an Aussie is that we Brits can’t place them on the social spectrum and so they have wide appeal. One minute he can be speaking to the suits in the city at the Opera House and the next minute he’s slumming it in back streets of Earlsfield! Tonight’s event should be terrific; it’s Al in his natural habitat – a bloke talking to blokes about Jesus.

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