Friday, May 25, 2018

A Cambridge God Adventure* 55) What do you do in a difficult meeting?

(*please skip if you have not been following this story).  In the raw emotion we were brought back to essentials.  I think it was Martyn Travers ( my ministerial colleague who gave wonderful leadership) who stood up and said: 'Why don't we pray?'  Oh, yes! It was a godly intervention and goes down in the story as a key moment when a human group realized afresh their gross limitations and need for prayer.  So obvious in retrospect!

For half-an-hour one member after another led us in heartfelt prayer. Gradually the tension and frustration began to lift and be replaced by a love and unity that owed everything to the presence of Jesus Christ.  The experience of praying changed everything. Someone said that we were given a gift of togetherness.  Another commented that perhaps that was why we needed to have gone through the meeting.

After prayer by an overwhelming number it was agreed to delay taking the big decision until the February Church Meeting.  Continuing  tension was inevitable as we pushed the decision further away yet we had learned a vital corrective about keeping corporate prayer at the centre of church meeting.  Indeed, we planned a time of open prayer for February.

In February more were present and, of course, views continued to be divided.  When the proposal was presented that we should proceed with the scheme and obtain planning permission it greatly surprised me that only one person abstained.  Sitting on the fence was not an option. The figures were: Agreed 76. Against 27.  What made so much difference were all the other matters on the agenda as we prepared for more baptisms, welcomed new members, and continued all the mission and fellowship initiatives of previous years.  The future of our premises remained a part only of burgeoning church life.  And just as well!

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