National Spiritual Coordinator Recently I accepted the role as the Wesleyan Reform Union’s National Spiritual Co-ordinator. With my wife Lindsey, who after working together in the Word of Life Church together over 12 years, began to think and pray into what this new role might look like. After some time in prayer we believe the Lord spoke to us telling us that He is not finished with this denomination, and that we have a part to play in the times in which we live. But our churches have to be filled with people who actually love Christ and by being followers of Him, then we ought to love each other, because if we don’t love each other in our Church families, how on earth are we going to ever reach out to a world that knows nothing but hate, greed, bitterness, and power-seeking. 1 Peter 1:22 says “Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart.” That word “fervently” means enthusiastically or passionately! Is that what defines us? Can we begin to imagine what our Churches would look like if this love was being displayed at all times, where each of us put everyone else first rather than ourselves? Jesus spoke to His disciples about this in the Gospel of John in 13:34-35 where he said “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” That is how the world should see the Church, that is how we can shine the light of Christ into the most darkest of hearts, and into the most hurting and damaging situations. I believe this new post of National Spiritual Co-ordinator, has been created for such a time as this, will help our Union of Churches to curtail the erosion that has taken place and once again help to fan the flame of passion for the Gospel of Jesus Christ in our Churches. There are three areas in which we will be focussing upon and they are the following: Interdependence; Focus; Re-engagement; I believe that the Lord has called us to bring to the fore a sense of interdependency amongst our Churches one again. There is a prevailing thought that the Union is some kind of upper tier or level of management, or more commonly put “the movers and the shakers” and that it has no relevance to the people on the ground in our local Churches. Absolutely not! We in each of our local Churches ARE the Union and each of us have a part to play in it. We need to re-discover our sense of community nationally, and we need to rediscover our sense of community in our Churches, finding out what gifts we all have and which can be used within the body. Too many people attend a church for many years and no one knows what gifts they have. We lose so much when the body doesn’t operate as a body. The Pastor/Minister/Secretary do not have all the gifts, and they are only a small but important part of the body. We have to learn again to “dare to believe.” God is a great big God, He is a God of the impossible as He makes all things possible to those who simply put their faith in Him and dare to believe that what He says in the Bible is what He means. If we are to grow, we need to start again daring to believe that He will make a way where there seems to be no way. Focus. We also need to focus on spiritual growth. We as individual Churches and Circuits cannot grow numerically unless we grow spiritually. We can no longer just attend Church on Sunday and then not live out the Christian life for the rest of the week, we need to re-affirm our commitment to Christ’s Church and do everything we can to serve in our Churches in the only simple way we can and then to share our faith simply within the communities in which we are placed. We need to encourage our existing leaders, not only our Pastors and Ministers, but those who lead our Churches, where a Pastor/Minister is not in place. We have to ensure our Pastors/Ministers and leaders are equipped to do the job they are employed to do. We also need to ensure that there is a free and easy flow of information around our churches with regards to best practice, in a whole range of issues. Re-engagement The Bible tells us that we are not to forsake the assembling together of our Christian family. We have learned so much about ourselves as Churches over the past two years. We have learned different ways to communicate, different ways to do Church. But we are only strong when we are together. I believe that this new role will be an opportunity to bring together a Union of Churches to work cohesively and effectively, to help each of us to live out our Christian lives, that we might be the salt and light in our communities. I believe that we all have a part to play in the future of our Union, the body of Christ to which we belong, that we may share the hope that lies within us to an ever-darkening world. Let us all come together, knowing who we are in Christ Jesus, sharing that God loves us, ensuring unity and promoting one another by encouraging, uplifting words. Let us all dare to believe that God is still in control and always will be and no matter how bad things are in the world right now, He is still sovereign, He is still on the throne, and His promises are everlasting and true. Let us dare to believe that change will come if we put our whole trust in Him and in Him alone. And then put that love and faith into practice.
Rev. Michael Hedley