Don’t panic Mr Mainwaring…..
I love Dad’s Army, both now and when I was a teenager. The wonderful bungling well-meaning creativity, along with a good dose of slapstick just ticks the boxes for me. As you will know, I live in Thetford, but what you may not know is that this town is the home of Dad’s Army, it is where it was filmed. With the recent bad weather, the poor statue of Captain Mainwaring became marooned as the river flooded and the caption of ’don’t panic Mr Mainwaring’ seemed most appropriate. Of course he never did panic, it was actually those around him who did the panicking, led by the hapless Sergeant Jones.
So why do I pontificate on this? Well as we enter the world of do we open, or don’t we open, what size meetings can we have, where can we go, what can’t we do, are you vaccinated or are you not vaccinated, there will be those who are holding the ‘ship’ firm and that’s probably you. Then there will be those running round the ship, going ‘don’t panic …..’ while duly panicking and potentially making you think you need to panic too. I think the phase we now entering has the potential to be just as challenging and stressful as 12 months ago, or possibly more so as we still live with unending uncertainty. The risk now, is that we, or those around us, think that this next bit is the easy part.
As the Dad’s Army team came up with many a hapless scheme to solve their problems, I think this is where the analogy falls short, for I know you will not have hapless barmy schemes, but you will have well thought through, prayerful plans and more than one or two risk assessments to go with the plans. However all of the planning in the world does not take away from the pressure to succeed, to meet others expectations and not to acquire the panic which others are exhibiting and to actually feel overwhelmed.
Verses which have always been dear to me are Isaiah 43:1-2
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
Perhaps this is one of the biblical versions of ‘don’t panic…’ for actually God’s got it. Having watched the BUGB Webinar on ‘How to Recover well’ last week, (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRytCdEzG04&t=1803s) I would like to pose these three questions coming from that webinar for your consideration as we move into the next phase:
How are you going to set the pace for your recovery and your churches recovery in the light of your community?
How are you going to avoid rushing or being pushed to rush to a reconstruction?
How are you going to allow people and yourself to be revived in the presence of God and process what we have been through?
These seem to be vital questions to me as we seek to recover well, to return to something, which will actually not be normal, but be new and then continue to be church together.
So no matter what the ‘noise’ is around you, hold firm with your prayerful plans and ‘don’t’ panic’.
‘How do we recover well’
If you would like to enter into conversation on the three questions I have offered, then why not join us for one of our conversations together on ‘How do we recover well’ on either Thursday 15th April or Friday 23rd April both at 10.30am.
Meeting ID: 881 9917 1596
Baptist Together Settlement Process(BTSP)
As you will be aware there is a new settlement process beginning from 12th May. Churches who are either in a pastoral vacancy or anticipate being in a pastoral vacancy in the next few months will have received the updated guidance and new paper work. If you have not received this and you think you should have done or if you think this might apply to you within the next few months then please contact your RM to receive these papers.
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