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31.12.13

Good Vicars and Growing Churches


Disappointed. As am I. Because although it is bad logic the assumption is that where you have a church that isn't growing you have a bad Vicar.

And of course growth is a rather slippery term. My involvement in Fresh Expressions has seen a number of projects grow fast, and then contract as circumstances change. Such periods often mark spiritual growth and individuals embracing discipleship, but the bottom line shows shrinkage.

Then there are plenty of Churches which are growing in one area but are diminishing elsewhere. In general the hierarchy of the Church likes mission minded Vicars to maintain that which has worked in the past whilst pushing forward with that which will work in the future. And by work I mean make disciples rather than just put bums on seats.

Churches are like mini dioceses, with different groups ebbing and flowing. So one wonders if where you have a good Bishop you find growing Dioceses?

But there is an easy solution. Rebrand everything that works as a Fresh Expression, and everything that doesn't as mixed economy 'care taking'. Focus all the attention on the former and you can be branded as a Good Vicar ... or Bishop.