I recently attended my first CTiB (Churches Together in Broadstone) meeting at St Anthony’s as a representative of Broadstone Methodist Church.
The experience was very much a learning exercise for me, listening to reports of the current activities. Sue Gowling is due to become Chairman in September and of course, we are now blessed with two new permanent Ministers, Helen at St John’s, and Andy at the United Reformed Church.
I am optimistic that there will be even more positive achievements for CTiB as more opportunities for working together are identified - an important aspect of 'the Way Forward' for Broadstone Methodist Church. (Annette Brooke)
Helen and Andy have outlined their early thoughts below.
Rev Helen Bailey, Vicar of St John's Church, Broadstone
I could say many things about teamwork, but in the context of church life, I also want to use the words vocation and discipleship. Vocation has been too narrowly defined as ordination, a very particular role, but I believe we each have three vocations. The first is to become the person God intended us to be, where we flourish in developing gifts and interests. That could be anything from parenting to artistic, gardening or accounting talents. Secondly, there is often something in that which we offer the world to make it a better place, and use that inside or outside church life. Finally, the call to discipleship is the vocation of us all.
When we use the God-given gifts we have been given, live out these vocations, we discover the richness of teamwork. It's a relief to discover none of us are called to be good at everything: what we offer world and church is uniquely given to us, without which we deprive others of something good, as well as denying ourselves fulfilment.
From my days as an Assistant Head of English through to ordained priest, I find myself called to use leadership gifts, though would include serving others as part of what leadership is about. But my role, most crucially, dove-tails with the wonderful lay ministries in my church and which, through Churches Together, we use in conjunction with one another for community benefit. At St John's, Local Pastoral Assistants, children's workers, intercessors, church cleaners, flower-ladies, all use God-given gifts.
We are stronger and healthier together.
Rev Andy Hall, Minister of Broadstone United Reformed Church
I find working with others, on a small team level, or in a much bigger sense as churches, extremely rewarding. When it’s all going well, when there is a common mind and a clear sense of a shared goal, it is beautiful. To see a diverse range of people and ideas coming together to create something that could never be achieved with lone individuals is extraordinary.
There is, as always, a more challenging side. My experience with previous churches in Manchester has told me that one of the hardest elements of bringing people together is the willingness to let things go.
If I am to work together with anyone, I can’t have everything my way all the time, even if I’m leading something and feel I have a clear sense of vision for what’s needed. Like the hidden treasure of Matthew 13 : 44-45,
"I strongly believe that we must be prepared to give up all that we have to find the immeasurably more that God can reveal to us through unity with him and with each other. "
I’m getting excited at the prospect even just writing this! Let’s go in search of that treasure together, God’s kingdom come in Broadstone, Dorset and to the ends of the earth!!