Today is my last day as Director of MarionLIFE Community Services; an organisation I have had the privilege to lead for over 5 years now.NB: Finishing well is my excuse for my lack of blogging in recent weeks.
I have learnt a lot in my time at MarionLIFE: about myself, about Community Development and about Ministry.
As I was reflecting on this in preparation for my final sermon last Sunday it seemed like there was too much to even begin to summarise. Three things, however, stood out to me to leave with MarionLIFE and to take with me into my new adventure:
1. I have learnt that Community Development requires us to be adventurous.
While it is safer to attempt to replicate a successes being had elsewhere the biggest challenges we face as a Church and as a society are not going to be overcome if we keep doing the same things we have always done! Our community is unique, our church is unique and therefore our interactions need also to be creatively unique.
2. I have learnt that Community Development requires us to be brave.
Failure is painful and yet in order to be truly creative we must try things that have never been tried before and doing so puts us at high risk of not succeeding (at least 8 times out of 10). It takes a lot of courage to be willing to keep getting up and to keep being creative in the face of this.
3. I have learnt that above all Community Development requires us to be humble.
Consider how hard it is to change yourself and you’ll understand what little chance you have in trying to change others – Jacob M Braude
Good Community Development requires us to allow those previous most-overlooked and marginalised to set the pace and to lead the process. This is incredibly humbling and messy work and not for the impatient. But it is entirely reflective of the character of Christ.
Thanks to all my friends at the Marion and Edwardstown Churches of Christ,
to the staff and volunteers at MarionLIFE Community Services
and to the communities with whom we have partnered and explored.
SO WHERE TO FROM HERE?
I have been given the distinct privilege of growing a new position with Baptist Care in walking alongside Baptist (and other) Churches across South Australia as they develop in their own unique relationships with their local communities. I look forward to sharing more of this with you as I begin the position in July.
If you’re interested in finding out more about this please contact me.
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