Radicals not rebels (Beth Honey)

Monday, 11 October, 2010

Beth HoneyBeth Honey explains why she's a radical, not a rebel.

I am a pioneer minister and a curate in the Church of England, serving in a parish church. I seek to be part of our church's journey towards connecting with our community beyond our fringe. If we are working in this way with the local church, I think we have the opportunity to start from, rather than work towards, a mixed economy model of church.

It is through local relationships and partnerships in mission that the mixed economy may most easily flourish. My church has a stated aim: to develop diverse congregations across our local area. As yet, this is an aim rather than a reality, but I have a dream of a family of congregations that bear a likeness, but who are mature enough to accept their mutual diversity.

In my present role, I am into my second year of curacy, having spent a year learning the basics of leading worship and preaching, and the 'how to' of hatch, match, dispatch. I have done a lot of listening and waiting and it has at times been frustrating if I am totally honest. But the fruit of that is beginning to show.

I am now proposing a new role to our church's governing body, which I hope will last beyond me, of Community Mission Leader. I see this role in two ways: leading and enabling others who the Holy Spirit is challenging to connect with unchurched people in our local area, and also following this radical call myself. 

We need to ask deep and challenging questions of church while we remain in relationship with other Christians and with church structures

I am not a rebel, wanting to throw out the discipleship, prayer life, and wisdom of the local church that has been on the ground for many, many decades. I need that life to support me, and others who move into uncharted territory will need the same. I am learning from those people who have lived and served Jesus in the area for many years. This is a humbling and privileged place to be.

As pioneers, I am not sure we need to rebel, but we do need to be radical, asking deep and challenging questions of church while we remain in relationship with other Christians and with church structures. A call to radical discipleship in past decades needs to become a call to radical mission in our own. If we build great relationships with inherited church, then this call will be heard by more and more people - and don't we, and this world, need them all?

About the author: 

Beth Honey is Pioneer Minister and Curate at St Peter's with St Mark's, Maidenhead.


Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
We use spam protection. View privacy policy.