Tuesday 14 October 2008

Being a Guerrilla Christian

It's a work in progress. With hindsight, in spite of every good intention last year, far too much of my time and attention went into the lovely but limited circle of the theological community. My new (academic) year's resolution has been to make sure that spare energy - and most especially that which I'm tempted to devote to attempts to reform things here at Ridley - goes outwards.

So here are some of the things I am determined not to put (much!) time, effort or brainpower towards:

  1. The antediluvian administrative structure for students, which guarantees a lack of teamwork on community responsibilities, ensures inequality in the division of labour and creates that special combination of inefficiency and near-effectiveness that prevents the resource that is our joint time and effort being available to respond to need and opportunity

  2. The Common Room's indifference to the administrative burden and intensified financial hardship (to the college) of a new payment regime for students

  3. Our shared failure to take an interest in the student world beyond our own Victorian walled garden, whether in theological or general academe, and learn from their experience and practice

That list-making needs, then, to be the end of my musing on these three topics. The first and best of what's freed by this resolution needs to go to my family, who inevitably bear the lion's share of the burden of our change of circumstances as a result of a call to ministry. And the next in line is The Outside World.

The first flowering of this latter is being put up as the 'older and wiser' head on a panel for a 'grill a Christian' evening. I can guarantee 50% achievement on this measure, at least. And I am of an age when making a complete fool of myself is absolutely no deterrent, so as far as I can see the worst that can happen is that someone asks a clever question to which all I can answer is 'wibble,' while the upside is if someone can argue me out of faith I can give up this life of giving up and go back to consultancy, holidays and money.

If you have a praying disposition and are reading this on the day, do keep me in mind this evening. It would be great not to be the scaffolding that spoils someone's view of Jesus.

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It's great to get comments - a good way to encourage, challenge and help me! Thank you. Jeremy