Some of you will know that I have recently laid down my paid job as a baptist regional minister to follow a call to further a vision of seeing God’s love being shared intentionally with every community in this country – and maybe beyond.
Within that vision I particularly feel called to inspire and help equip people to missionally engage with every new housing area – Penny Marsh and I birthed The New Housing Hub to serve this part of this call.
I also feel called to glean what God is doing in the new housing context firstly in order to equip others to serve and secondly to see if there is anything we are learning which would be useful to those engaging in other contexts. I have committed to Doctoral research and to work as part of the Archbishop Commission for Housing, Homes and Community – ABCHousing- to glean and share learning.
Along the way I also hope to learn about how people are sharing God’s love in other contexts which might inform practice in new housing.
It’s a huge vision! And I’m aware that my part within this work of God is tiny but nonetheless I want to be faithful in the small task God has called me too.
The call and task is inspiring and invigorating and I’m humbled and excited to be part of it, but in the midst of the excitement a dilemma has emerged. It’s too big! A tiny piece of work to God is, of course, massive for me!
I had an idea that in laying down my regional work, space would open up before me, but so many individuals and organisations have been in touch wanting me to work with them that already my diary is full. I have had a number of prophetic words saying that God would bring the work to me that he wanted me to do – and that has been the case, I haven’t gone out looking for any of this – but it feels too much! Surely I can’t do all of this!
So amidst the busyness, I have been praying and asking God the way forward. I have known from the beginning that God was not calling me to develop a franchise I could control, but to grow a vision I could give away. And I know that to grow the practical embodiment affectively, a team needs to emerge – just like it has locally. We already have a small team of 4 of us committed to the New Housing Hub [NHH] vision, and others involved in supporting the ABCHousing work, but even finding the capacity to arrange to gather with the NHH team is difficult! Already I need a PA to help manage the diary, emails and messages and arrange dates and times for meetings and events. If this were a business I’d have an exciting recruitment drive in full swing to meet the needs of the rapidly expanding work. But this is different. There’s no budget or salary, no pension scheme, attractive employment conditions or essential equipment for me or anyone else. There’s simply the King of Kings inviting us to join in his mission.
Aware of my own limitations to solve this dilemma and inspired over the last few months by Pete Grieg’s call to prayer and the way God led the 24/7 prayer movement, I thought I’d share something of the dream I have and – grand as it sounds – what God seems to have been saying about a bigger picture that is emerging this week as I have prayed with people locally and nationally. I’m wondering if it resonates with things God has been saying elsewhere to others. If it has, maybe together we might begin to solve the dilemma; to join in with God’s big call – without being overwhelmed.
If you have read this far and you have a sense of excitement about what God might be doing amongst us, and maybe even what your role is in it, join me in the next blog ‘A dream, a candle, a patchwork quilt and an invitation…’