November 2009

Planting, Growing, Reaping

To allow an idea to transform from a seed through germination and growing and finally reaping always takes time. Especially in voluntary organisations like the church and more especially in a church like the United Reformed Church which believes in conciliar government (that means groups of people having responsibility together for decisions under God), the time it takes to move from the first thoughts though planning and decision and then implementation seems to take an inordinate amount of time.

The reason my thoughts are wandering this way is the decision made by Church Meeting at the end of last year to employ a part time youth worker. The idea had been mentioned a least a few years earlier, but mainly due to the major building renovation that finally happened in 2007, the idea had been shelved. Even then, it took almost a year of thinking, discussion and praying before a decision was made.

But a decision is not action, and its taken over 9 months of hard work by the action group appointed by the Elders to bed down the idea. The small group of Judy Clarke, Janine Danes, Sue Deane and myself have had to work through job descriptions, funding applications, employment handbooks, getting our brains around employment laws, and almost weekly meetings. The congregation has generously given or pledged to financially support the position. There has been much prayer. And after all that what have we achieved? Well, we still don’t have a youth worker. We held interviews in September but, unfortunately, didn’t find a suitable candidate.

It’s not quite back to square one because all the ground work remains in place. We have since refined the advertisement and job description. The advertisement will be online in November and published in December and we hope to receive applications by January 5th, with interviews a few weeks later.

But this takes all takes time. And when we finally get the person in post in some way the whole thing starts again. The youth worker will spend time getting to know people and establishing contact. It will take time and discernment to decide what time and day and style of programme should be offered, then still more time and energy and frustration and joy as this programme gets established and people touched. It’s one reason why we are wanting an appointment over 5 years. Planting, Growing, and with God’s blessing, Reaping.

The whole process can leave a person despairing. It all takes so long. But I guess that’s why we think and work and prayer and decide together. It’s not one persons idea. It is everyone’s and somehow it is also God’s. For in praying and deciding together we believe that we are following God’s will.

In Matthew 9:37,38 Jesus says “The Harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” So can I ask you to continue to support this initiative.

Firstly in prayer:- That God work give us the worker(s) that we need.

Secondly in finance:- if you have already given or pledge, be patient. You will be ask to honour your pledge when we need to support the worker. And if you haven’t given or pledge consider supporting this.

And thirdly:- just be patient, God has got a plan and a person and if we do our part, He will ensure that the Harvest is reaped in His time.

November 2009