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Being in the right place

There are a myriad stories that could be told of people who find themselves in the right place at the right time. Everyone from sports personalities who were spotted by top scouts while playing in school teams, to amateur photographers who spotted incredible sights as they went about their everyday business.

Stories along these lines have a timeless appeal, because they illustrate a deep hope that extraordinary things can happen to ordinary people. In our mission as the Church, believing that God uses people in extraordinary ways is vital. But it is often as we do small things with great love in the name of Christ, that we participate in his extraordinary purposes.

I have now been working with the churches of the Romiley Circuit for a year, seeking to create opportunities for fresh expressions of church to develop. Fresh expressions are unlikely to suddenly just appear out of nowhere. Therefore, much of my work over the past year has focussed on reaching out to young people, building community and developing discipleship and prayer with all ages, in order that we are in the ‘right place’. Bill Wilson, founder of Metro Ministries (which works worldwide with urban children) says that “if you are in the right place often enough, eventually you will be there at the right time”. Therefore I have been aiming to help all churches, including Marple, Jubilee and The Ridge, to be ‘in the right place’.

The important thing is now to be ‘in the right place often enough’. We must stay with the people we are making connections with. The vast majority of our society is too far removed from the church that one-off contact will give them the opportunity for meaningful transformation. Only consistent, faithful, prayerful, passionate journeying with people will achieve this. Young people especially are desperate for people who will stay. They are embedded in a rapidly-changing world with few adults who can give them the long-term support they need. This does not mean that our work should be rigid and stubborn; rather that our ministry would frequently change shape in order that we retain relationships with people who themselves are constantly changing.

Mike Pilavachi, one veteran youth worker who established a church for young people in the nineties, states that the next generation of the church will need leaders “who say with their lives and not just their words that ‘Love means not going away’.” As we continue to work out how to be ‘in the right place often enough’, may we see breakthrough in our lives as we find we are indeed ‘in the right place at the right time’.

Jonny Davies - Circuit Fresh Expressions Worker.
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