Counting Strands

Today at the Diocesan Office the Revd Chris Kellock was talking about missional leadership, the strand of the Diocesan Growth Strategy (although I am unclear as to whether we are supposed to have stopped calling it that now) that has had a lot of people scratching their head over what it means.  I thought I had an inkling and it turns out I was just about right nevertheless it was a valuable time and I still gleaned some very good stuff from the day.  Back in the Rectory it got me to thinking about the other strands of the Diocesan Growth Strategy.

Now the DGS shouldn’t be about box ticking but as a little exercise to amuse myself I had a look through this week’s diary to see how, having spent the day on missional leadership, if the other 5 strands were represented this week.  Prayer and spirituality; learning and discipleship; numerical growth, welcome and integration; children and young people were all encompassed there in various guises, along with an opportunity to put some missional leadership stuff into practise at tonight’s Vestry meeting, the one that was lacking was imaginative outreach into the local community.  Now I am not scared of some imaginative outreach and there are those who will tell you that I have got them doing some very imaginative outreach that they never would have dreamed of ever doing themselves.  So I delved back and forward in my diary but still no.  Yes there is outreach into the local community but it is hardly what I would class as imaginative, more the standard fare of Christian outreach, so I am left with a question to work on.  Has my outreach imagination been tempered or stopped working, or is there something else at play?

Of course it should be underlined that congregations are only being asked to concentrate on one or two strands, and no one person or congregation can really expect to have comprehensively covered all strands in any given week.  On the other hand maybe tonight’s Vestry meeting will fling up something that can be filed under the imaginative outreach into the local community arm and I can get to shout ‘bingo!’.


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