Wednesday, January 21, 2009


There used to be the old comment that after the Lord Major's show someone would have to go round the streets with a shovel. After the most exuberant and exciting events you have to clear up.

For a couple of years I helped run three seven day houseparties in a row with a half day off in between. You said goodbye to the members, quickly cleared up, took a break then woke up the next morning to set up again as if it was day one. The plan was that members arriving for Week 2 should be left with no idea that a previous houseparty had taken place. By the end of Week 2 the thought of 'going again' was not that enticing. But we did it.

After Week 3 we used to ask, 'Who is here to the bitter end?' In other words, who is not going home until the final clearing up is complete. The guy who trained me to run houseparties used to say that the people you wanted on your team were the ones who trusted that somehow you would work out how to get them home after the clearing up was finished, rather than worrying about it during. Many of the people who made that sort of commitment are now involved in ministry themselves.

When we run our lovely Cafe Create project we turn the Nailsea, Trinity Centre into a funky lounge/bar for the night and then spend an hour recluttering it. We put back all the creche toys, notices, and ugly furniture we'd moved out to make the place nice. It's a bit depressing. I have noticed the members of the organising group who work their socks off, non-stop so that we can get away by about midnight. Future ministers? Possibly.

Christian ministry is a series of events which need clearing up and a long haul. The morning after the Church Council has made a commitment to a huge piece of new ministry, an exciting 'Yes' (watch this space), the new morning breaks with the question hanging in the sky over all of us, 'Will you go again?'

To be honest we've not put away the shovel from the previous exciting event. But of course we will. Unanimously. It's only money after all.

1 comment:

Chris said...

"Future ministers?"

Surely current ministers, ministering by helping out and doing everything they are doing?

PS Don't forget to tidy up your sidebar and links etc...