I was at a meeting of the joint URC/Methodist Rural Strategy Group recently. The person chairing the meeting led the opening time of worship, using the daily prayer resource from www.sacredspace.ie The prayers asked to reflect on this: “Where do I sense hope, encouragement, and growth areas in my life? Be looking back over the last few months, I may be able to see which activities and occasions have produced rich fruit. If I do notice such areas, I will determine to give those areas both time and space in the future.”
Spend some time asking yourself and the Holy Spirit that question. What are the things that are giving you energy and helping you to grow in your relationship with God? Look back over the last few months and see what you have done that has produced “rich fruit”.
Did you find that difficult? Does that concern you? (If you did, it should!)
We cannot expect to only do those things that we find rewarding, that produce good fruit in our lives and those of others. But we should certainly be seeking out those things. But more importantly, we should make it a priority to take stock – to spend time prayerfully looking at your relationship with God.
I was also at the launch event for the Holy Habits resources (www.brfonline.org.uk/holy-habits) Andrew Roberts’ excellent book of that name is now supported by a set of study guides for personal and group use to support the United Reformed Church’s new focus on “Walking the Way: Living the life of Jesus today” – more information at www.urc.org.uk/our-work/walking-the-way.html
Somewhere along the way, the Church has lost sight of our call to be disciples and to make new disciples. It is time to correct that, and looking back at where we are growing in our own discipleship will help us to regain our focus for the future. There is an urgent need to getting back to the kind of discipleship to which we are called (see Matthew 28:16-20). I look forward to hearing stories of how individuals and congregations across the West Midlands take up this challenge.