How connected are we?
This is the second in a series of posts asking the question ‘How connected are we?’ As I said in my previous post these items are based on my own observations and relate to the position as I see it in and around Walsall. It is unfortunate that some of this might come across as fairly negative but I intend to make the final posts in the series far more positive.
How connected are we as a Circuit?
Another interesting question which may have a range of different answers depending on the circuit but in our circuit I think I would have to say we are not very well connected.
Circuit events are generally not very well attended with the exception of the annual circuit carol service but even this will see the same folk turn out each year. We tried some alternative circuit services a while back which were not at all well attended and one church organised their own services on the same night using the reason that some of their folk only went to church on Sunday evenings so they would not be able to go if there was no service. Not sure I understand that reason when there was a circuit service they could attend and who knows they might even enjoy it.
Recognition services for local preachers which I always hope will attract a larger turn our given the work that our preachers do tend not to be well attended, even when there is a three line whip from the circuit leadership team and good publicity from the preachers meeting.
Circuit meetings are generally well attended but these will often be the folk that are very active in the local situations – it is not often you see a new face and I do realise that some may say this is because of the lack of members in our churches and their advancing years. I am not sure about this particular answer being valid – perhaps we should be encouraging our members a little more and perhaps even challenging the status quo that exists in some places and has done for many years.
One of the other things I often hear is about travelling and how difficult it is to get from one end or side of the circuit to the other. The distance between our two furthest churches is just 7.9 miles so it is not exactly a million miles and while I realise public transport is not fantastic most churches have a number of people with cars who could offer lifts if we were connected on the local level. If events are planned at Central Hall in Walsall then the two churches the furthest away from there are only 3.4 and 4.5 miles, so again not an insurmountable distance.
I have tried to identify some positives in how well we connect but it is not at all easy – my next post will look at the district so again I am not expecting any great amount of positivity.