Collaborative Ministry

Part of yesterday was spent discussing what is called Local Collaborative Ministry at a day conference in Dundee. It was good to be offered something like this – there is almost no in-service education or training or anything like that offered to me. Not that this was a training event. Oh no, it was discussion.

There were some insights that I found helpful though I came away with at least as many questions as I took.

These included….

Can you be a Local Collaborative congregation without knowing it?

Can you have Local Collaborative congregations in dioceses where the bishop does not seem to affirm it?

How do you become a Local Collaborative congregation?

Is it a lay training scheme?

Is it about finance or isn’t it?

Do we really think that what is being done with the reserved sacrament in the name of collaboration is wholesome and holy?

With the exception of the last of these, they are genuinely open questions. In the case of the last one, I think the answer is no.

A new phrase is creeping into the church… “those who are frightened by Collaborative Ministry”. I’m not frightened by it, but I sometimes disagree with what is done in its name. I recognise the politics of fear at work here.

I particularly disliked the words “flipchart” and “surface” being used as verbs. (ie “go into your groups and surface ideas”). Verbing nouns will never win me to any cause.

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