As BUGB changes take effect, I've joined the ranks of those whose involvement in its committee life has ended.
I’ve been a member of BU Council for nine years, was part of the General Purposes and Finance Executive and have had the pleasure of moderating the Finance Committee for the last six. But no more. The Finance Committee, like many others, ceases to exit. My time on BU Council concludes.
It’s been a great experience; with opportunities to contribute to denominational life as well as critique it. I'm sorry to be going but the Union needs new voices and lighter structures to meet new challenges.
I will still blog about Union life. I may not be as involved but I will be freer to comment and will gain a different perspective from the edges.
This year is crucial for the Union. Unexpected things will surface, loose ends will need attention and stuff will accidently slip through the net. Those who steer us through this phase need our support and prayers. As do those employees of the Union who are loosing their jobs and seeking new ones.
Looking forward let's be mindful of three things:
Culture eats vision for breakfast. We must not be put off by the instability culture change creates. A period of uncertainty is inevitable. Too often, the Union has managed to be less than the sum of its parts and we need a new collegiate leadership embodying and promoting the culture changes.
Dispersed trailblazing. We have valued a central resource. It has provided structure, identity and clarity to Union life. But the organisational style of a medium size business which values homogeneity, meetings, diplomatic language and role clarity will be have to adapt to value risk, diversity and the creativity of a small enterprise. Identity will come from investing in the margins and not corporate excellence, leadership from adaptable people with backbone and strategic passion not quiet, methodical builders.This will be a new experience for everyone involved in BUGB life.
Mind the gap. We need to engage as many as possible in a new networked Union. This means working with Larger Churches, Fresh Streams, BME churches and the Smaller Churches network in addition to the work done in associations. We need ways of minimising the gap between local churches (and ministers) and the structures of Association and Union life. The new General Secretary’s involvement in these networks and their effective public preaching ministry will be key in this.
Those who carry these responsibilities have my prayer, support and encouragement. I'm off for a relaxing glass of something red.