Friday, January 10, 2014

Good Vicar Secrets (2): You gotta try stuff

On Wednesday night we had 13 of us in our sitting room at the Rectory (a bit of a squeeze but comfortable enough, room for a couple more maybe) for the first session of a new Christianity Explained course.

I have to admit I was a bit nervous before hand. I'd never run the course before. And it seemed to expect me to do most of the talking. It doesn't really give questions to ask as discussion starters and it suggests you avoud putting people on the spot. How long would my monologue last and would it be as dull as ditch water? Might my customers be glad to be leaving after half an hour. And would there be any customers anyway?

I've only been here 3 years in my relatively small churches and I've already run a few evangelistic courses (Christianity Explored a couple of times, I think, Identity and Simply Christianity). Would anyone come this time? Would those who had any interest feel they'd been there and done that? Or worse, would only one or two come? Would anyone say anything? Would people enjoy it, find it useful and want to come back?

Anyway, we had a really good time, I think. Lively discussion, good, relevant, interesting questions. People left happy and keen for more next time, it seemed.

The point is, you've got to try stuff. Maybe it wont work, but that wouldn't be the end of the world. Even if no one comes, that would be okay. And sometimes small can be beautiful. Some people would participate more in a group of 4 than a crowd of 14. Yes, it takes some time and effort. There might be cleaning, baking, preparing, giving up another evening and maybe some expense involved. But you've got to try stuff.

In a very small way, the good vicar needs a bit of time, energy, courage and optimism for these things.

And maybe someone tried something similar 10 years ago and it didn't work in every respect. Nevertheless, you still gotta try stuff. Thinking it will probably fail can be a self-fulfilling prophecy and it can be an excellent way to stop you from even trying.

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