Today we pray for the clergy, readers and wardens at Matlock, Dethick Lea and Holloway #Derbyprayers
I have now been in the diocese for three months and time has flown. I have settled into a new country, a new job and a new home all in the space of 3 months. One thing that stands out for me during this period of transition is the friendliness of people. I have been surprised when people say ‘hello’ in the street and I have been overwhelmed by the welcome in the Parish Support Office in Derby and in the parishes I have been to.
Being welcomed is so important in our churches and communities. The ministry of welcome is important and often overlooked. For people to feel they belong is key to our discipleship and mission. For me at the heart of any ministry is the call to be disciples. The call to follow. When we get our discipleship right then people will be generous both in terms of their time, and their talent and their money.
God calls each one of us, but our immediate response to come and follow, may well be ‘where are you going.’ Those fishermen, the first disciples, did not know where that initial call from Jesus would lead them. They did not know where the destination was, but they must learn it on the way.
People today like you and me are called by Christ we do not know where the destination is. But we have to be open to God’s call. In God’s call to follow I never imagined I would end up here in Derby Diocese, as the Director of Mission and Ministry. Even a year ago I would not have imagined leaving my home country of Wales. I do believe, however, that God has called me to this place to further the Kingdom alongside and with other disciples.
The call to follow has never been for me a clear voice, it has always been a gentle prodding through the people around me. There are many different ways in which people are called to be disciples for some it is that gentle prodding, for others it may be a sudden Damascus road experience for some they will have always followed. But for the writer of Mathew’s Gospel there is one common denominator. People become disciples by the power of Jesus’ word, they follow because Jesus has spoken to them and his word generates faith.
I wonder what God is calling you to be and to become? Will you be open to the gentle prompting of God to come and follow wherever he may lead you?